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Delaware Department of
Agriculture

Hemp Program



The Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program has been approved by USDA. This site includes the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Participant Guide and Forms required for all participants in the program. Producer applications will be accepted from November 1 to February 1.

Background


Close up of two hemp plants in a agricultural field.

Hemp is the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with the federally defined delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, or the THC concentration for hemp defined in 7 U.S.C. sec 5940, whichever is greater.

In the State of Delaware, hemp is considered an agricultural commodity and is defined as a grain under Del. Code Title 3.

 

Legislation


Delaware

The 149th General Assembly signed Senate Bill 266 into law on August 28, 2018 allowing for the cultivation of hemp for agricultural or academic research, which is the only way that hemp could be produced in Delaware in 2019.

The passage of SB 266 also gave the Delaware Department of Agriculture the ability to adopt any policies and regulations necessary to permit the cultivation of hemp when federal law permitted the cultivation of hemp beyond agricultural or academic research. The goal of this legislation was to position Delaware to immediately permit the cultivation of hemp if and when the federal restrictions were repealed; however, federal law still required Delaware and other states to secure approval from USDA.

On January 27, 2020, USDA approved the State of Delaware Plan for a Domestic Hemp Production Program. With this approval, Delaware assumes the primary regulatory responsibility for hemp production within its jurisdiction.

In December 2019, regulations for hemp production in the State of Delaware, 805, Rules and Regulations for Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program were published under emergency orders and took effect immediately. In January 2021, proposed changes to amend the Regulations were published in the Delaware Register of Regulations. After receiving no public comment, a  Final Order for the Rules and Regulations for Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program went into effect and was adopted by the Delaware Department of Agriculture on March 11, 2021.

 

Federal

The 2018 Farm Bill, signed by the President on December 20, 2018, permanently legalized hemp and hemp products, establishing them as agricultural commodities, and removing them from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act. The 2018 Farm Bill expands hemp farming by authorizing states to develop permanent programs.

Effective October 31, 2019, USDA established the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program through an interim final rule. This rule outlines provisions for the USDA to approve plans submitted by the states. The public can see the status of state and tribal hemp production plans for USDA Approval online.

On January 19, 2021, USDA published a final rule that provides regulations for the establishment of a domestic hemp production program in the United States and became effective on March 22, 2021. To ensure compliance with USDA’s final rule, the Delaware Department of Agriculture will review existing State Regulations and amend them as needed. Regulations for the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program will be available through the Delaware Register of Regulations.

 

Background on Delaware Hemp Production


With the establishment of the 2018 Farm Bill and the approval of the State of Delaware Plan for a Domestic Hemp Production Program, Delaware no longer has to utilize the hemp research pilot program. As a relatively new industry, research will still be important in helping producers to find the varieties best suited to our climate and soil types; to learn best management practices, and to investigate alternative uses for domestic hemp. Producers are able to fully enter the domestic hemp industry outside of the research component; however, the Delaware Department of Agriculture cannot advise that a viable market will exist for any producer of hemp to sell their crop. The Delaware Department of Agriculture does not hold any responsibility for ensuring that an end market for hemp or hemp products exists and does not take any responsibility for any losses that may be incurred by the producer.

Year   2019
Research
  2020
Full Production
  2021
Full Production
No. Registered Producers 26 13 14
No. Registered Producers Who Produced A Crop 18 5 8
Outdoor Production Planted, Acres 82.36 registered 23 12.87
Total Outdoor Acres, Harvested 9.25 12.17
Indoor Production Planted, Sq. Ft. 419,620 registered 17,442 18,095
Total Indoor Production Harvested, Sq. Ft. 14,372 15,258
Total Disposed, Non-Compliance 2.75 Acres

1,698 Sq, Ft.

0.2 Acres

192 Sq. Ft.

Total Disposed, Other Reasons 11 Acres

1,417 Sq. Ft.

0.5 Acres

2,645 Sq. Ft.

Total Intended Use: CBD 100% 100%
Total Intended Use: Other 0% 0%

 

Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Participant Guide and Forms


Updated 10/26/2021! The Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Participant Guide includes specific guidelines and forms for hemp producers, processors, and handlers. It is recommended that each participant download and print the Delaware Domestic Hemp Research Program Participant Guide to help gain a better understanding of the program. Required forms are also available for download in the corresponding participant categories below.

Producer

Note: The Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Producer Application and Growing Site Registrations will be accepted from November 1 to February 1. A producer must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible to receive a Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program License.

Any individual or business with the intent to grow, cultivate or distribute hemp, including transplants, seedlings, or clones. This applies to any number of plants grown for any purpose, including personal use.

  1. Application: Producer downloads and completes the Producer Application and Growing Site Registration for each indoor and outdoor growing site. The application fee of $300 is to be included at the time of application and renewal every 3 years.
  2. Criminal History Report Request:
    • Criminal History Report, issued by the FBI, dated within 4 months of application, is required to participate in the Program. Information on fingerprinting and applicant request options are found online FBI Criminal Background Check.
      • Fees will apply. (Typical fees: $18)
      • The Delaware Department of Agriculture requires one sealed copy.
      • When applying on the website, the applicant must fill in all required fields. Specifically, under the following tabs, the applicant should respond:
        • Personal Information Tab, Reason for Needing a Background Check: “Personal Review”
        • Mailing Address Tab: In Care of: “Delaware Department of Agriculture, Attn: Hemp Program, 2320 S. DuPont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901”
        • Preferences Tab: Date of Birth Included with Results: “Yes”
        • When the application is filled out, click “Complete.”
      • After completing the online application, the FBI will send a confirmation e-mail that they have received a Federal Criminal Background Check application. A copy of this e-mail must be printed out and submitted along with the Producer Application and Growing Site Registration.
  3. Site Registration:
    • A Growing Site Registration must be completed annually for each growing site.
    • A map identifying GPS coordinates, at least 2 labeled roads and points of entry, and boundaries or dimensions of the growing area in acres or square feet.
    • The growing site registration fee of $500 is to be included at the time of site registration submission. The growing site modification fee is $500 per site.
  4. Authorized Representative: An individual designated by a Licensed Producer to act as a point of contact on behalf of the Licensed Producer.
    • This individual must be indicated on the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Producer Application and is an individual designated by a Licensed Producer to act as a contact point.
    • A Licensed Producer may designate 1 individual as an Authorized Representative.
    • An Authorized Representative is required to complete and submit a Criminal History Report.
  1. Once the applicant returns a completed Producer Application to the Delaware Department of Agriculture (Department), the approval process will begin.
  2. The Department will review the documents and attachments to confirm the applicant’s eligibility.
  3. The Department will contact the applicant for any follow-up information needed.
  4. The Department will issue and mail a Producer License and License Number to the applicant, as well as the identification card for an Authorized Representative.
  5. Approved applications are subject to revocation pending results of the FBI Criminal History Report.
  6. The Department will communicate with Law Enforcement the applicant’s approval status.
  7. The Department will maintain a digital/paper file of all documents for record, which may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Site Modification forms are required when changes are made to growing sites already registered with the Department or adding additional sites. A fee of $500 is required to be at the time of site modification submission.

For indoor and outdoor growing sites, Licensed Producers must assign a unique lot ID to each lot based on the following three criteria. Licensed Producers are required to maintain records that correspond to each lot ID:

  1. Plant Variety
  2. Planting Date
  3. Planting Site

Note: The Delaware Department of Agriculture will collect 1 regulatory sample per lot within 15 days of harvest. Licensed Producers may collect and test their own samples at any time at their own expense, but only the Department collected sample will be used for regulatory purposes.

  1. Sampling Request Form: The Licensed Producer must notify the Department by completing the Sampling Request Form 30 days prior to the expected harvest date to allow sufficient time for the Department to schedule time with the Licensed Producer or Authorized Representative to collect a sample for regulatory THC testing. The Licensed Producer should notify the Department by e-mailing the Sampling Request Form to DDA_HempProgram@delaware.gov.
  2. Harvest is required to be completed within 15 days following regulatory sample collection. If the crop is not harvested within 15 days following the original regulatory sample collection, producers are subject to subsequent sample collections. The Licensed Producer must submit fees for all regulatory sample collection.
  3. All regulatory sample collection and testing have a fee of up to $350 each per sample. This fee must be submitted at the time of the sample request prior to sample collection.
  4. The Department will collect a representative sample of the hemp lot based on lot size and plant number. The regulatory sample will be collected using standard collection protocol (40 percent uppermost buds and 60 percent buds from the upper third of the plant) or performance-based protocols as determined by the Department. The sample will be sent to an external laboratory for analysis of post decarboxylated delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration.
  5. Upon receipt of the test results, the Department will provide those results to the Licensed Producer by e-mail or mail.
  6. If test results show a post decarboxylated delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration greater than 0.3 percent, the Licensed Producer may request a retest of the sample or to have a new sample be collected for testing.
  1. To the Department: Licensed Producers are required to submit an Annual Report to the Department no later than December 1 each year.
    • Total acreage/square footage planted
    • Total acreage/square footage harvested
    • Total acreage/square footage disposed
    • Plant storage records
    • Intended crop use
  2. To FSA: Once per year, within 15 days of hemp planting completion, Licensed Producers are required to file an acreage report with FSA. FSA will follow the Department’s lot identification guidelines to work with you to identify your lots. To file an acreage report, you need:
    • An FSA map of your farm or ranch, and your tract and field numbers
    •  Information on the crops you planted
    • Intended crop use
    • The number of acres of crops you are reporting
    • Approximate crop boundaries, planting patterns and dates, irrigation practices, and producer shares
  3. To find your local office, go to:
    https://offices.usda.gov or https://farmers.gov/service-locator
  • Applicants must read and understand Regulation 805, Rules and Regulations for Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program as producers are subject to the provisions listed in these regulations.
  • If the Licensed Producer plans to sell viable plants or viable plant parts, a Delaware Nursery License is required. This license is available through the Department free of charge.
  • Harvest of a lot is allowed after the Department collects the regulatory sample. The harvested lot may not be co-mingled with other lots without permission from the Department.
  • Lots testing above 0.3 percent post decarboxylated delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol will require destruction or remediation.
  • All questions regarding Delaware’s Domestic Hemp Production Program should be emailed to DDA_HempProgram@delaware.gov

Processor

Note: Processor Applications and Processing Facility Registrations must be submitted to the Department no later than October 31 to be eligible to receive a Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Processor Registration.

Any individual or business with the intent to conduct processes that convert raw hemp material in any way other than for testing. This includes producers who harvest, mechanically dry down, or package their own crop. Please contact the Delaware Department of Agriculture for fee information.

  1. Application: Applicant downloads and completes the Delaware Hemp Program Processor Registration Form and Facility Registration. The application fee of $300 is to be included at the time of applying. Registrations are valid for 3 years.
  2. Criminal History Report Request:
    • Criminal History Report, issued by the FBI, dated within 4 months of application, is required to participate in the Program. Information on fingerprinting and applicant request options are found online FBI Criminal Background Check.
      • Fees will apply. (Typical fees: $18)
      • The Delaware Department of Agriculture requires one sealed copy.
      • When applying on the website, the applicant must fill in all required fields. Specifically, under the following tabs, the applicant should respond:
        • Personal Information Tab, Reason for Needing a Background Check: “Personal Review”
        • Mailing Address Tab: In Care of: “Delaware Department of Agriculture, Attn: Hemp Program, 2320 S. DuPont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901”
        • Preferences Tab: Date of Birth Included with Results: “Yes”
        • When the application is filled out, click “Complete.”
      • After completing the online application, the FBI will send a confirmation e-mail that they have received a Federal Criminal Background Check application. A copy of this e-mail must be printed out and submitted along with the Producer Application and Growing Site Registration.
  3. Facility Registration: The annual registration fee of $1,000 should be included at the time of submission.
  4. Key Participant: means person or persons who have a direct or indirect financial interest in the entity processing hemp, such as an owner or partner in a partnership. A key participant also includes persons in a corporate entity at executive levels including CEO, COO, and CFO. This does not include other management positions like farm, field, or shift managers. A key participant must be listed on the application and is required to complete a Criminal History Report that must be submitted as part of the Processor Application.
  1. Once the applicant returns a completed Processor Application to the Delaware Department of Agriculture (Department), the approval process will begin.
  2. The Department will review the documents and attachments to confirm the applicant’s eligibility.
  3. The Department will contact the applicant for any follow-up information needed.
  4. The Department will issue and mail a Processor Registration and Registration Number to the applicant.
  5. Approved applications are subject to revocation pending results of the FBI Criminal History Report.
  6. The Department will communicate with Law Enforcement the applicant’s approval status.
  7. The Department will maintain a digital/paper file of all documents for the record, which may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Facility Modification forms are required when changes are made to processing facilities that are already registered with the Department or adding additional sites. A fee of $1,000 is required at the time of submission.

All questions regarding Delaware’s Domestic Hemp Production Program should be e-mailed to DDA_HempProgram@delaware.gov.

Handler

Note: A handler must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible to receive a Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program License.

Any individual or business with the intent to transport or store hemp or hemp plant parts prior to the delivery of such plant or plant part for processing, including seed. Licensed producers and registered processors are not required to obtain a handler’s license.

  1. Application: Applicant downloads and completes the Delaware Domestic Hemp Program Handler Application. The application fee of $100 is to be included at the time of applying.
  2. Criminal History Report Request:
    • Criminal History Report, issued by the FBI, dated within 4 months of application, is required to participate in the Program. Information on fingerprinting and applicant request options are found online FBI Criminal Background Check.
      • Fees will apply. (Typical fees: $18)
      • The Delaware Department of Agriculture requires one sealed copy.
      • When applying on the website, the applicant must fill in all required fields. Specifically, under the following tabs, the applicant should respond:
        • Personal Information Tab, Reason for Needing a Background Check: “Personal Review”
        • Mailing Address Tab: In Care of: “Delaware Department of Agriculture, Attn: Hemp Program, 2320 S. DuPont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901”
        • Preferences Tab: Date of Birth Included with Results: “Yes”
        • When the application is filled out, click “Complete.”
      • After completing the online application, the FBI will send a confirmation e-mail that they have received a Federal Criminal Background Check application. A copy of this e-mail must be printed out and submitted along with the Producer Application and Growing Site Registration.
  1. Once the applicant returns a completed Handler Application to the Delaware Department of Agriculture (Department), the approval process will begin.
  2. The Department will review the documents and attachments to confirm the applicant’s eligibility.
  3. The Department will contact the applicant for any follow-up information needed.
  4. The Department will issue and mail a Handler License and License Number to the applicant.
  5. Approved applications are subject to revocation pending results of the FBI Criminal History Report.
  6. The Department will communicate with Law Enforcement the applicants’ approval status.
  7. The Department will maintain a digital/paper file of all documents for the record, which may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

All questions regarding Delaware’s Domestic Hemp Production Program should be emailed to DDA_HempProgram@delaware.gov.

 

The Delaware Department of Agriculture cannot advise that a viable market will exist for any producer or processor of hemp to sell their crop. The Delaware Department of Agriculture does not hold any responsibility for ensuring that an end market for hemp or hemp products exists and does not take any responsibility for any losses that may be incurred.

For more information or questions regarding Delaware’s Hemp Program, email DDA_HempProgram@delaware.gov.


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