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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney, DeLauro, Larson Seek Clarification on Pathway to 2019 Industrial Hemp Cultivation for Connecticut

March 6, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Joe Courtney (CT-02), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), and John Larson (CT-01) wrote to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to request clarification on industrial hemp regulation and cultivation in the state of Connecticut, and to seek guidance on a path forward for Connecticut farmers to begin the cultivation of industrial hemp in the 2019 growing season.  The request comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture begins to implement the Agriculture Improvements Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), which opened the door at the federal level for the growing of commercial hemp. Representatives Courtney, DeLauro, and Larson each voted in favor the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Like many states, Connecticut’s General Assembly enacted legislation in 2015 (HB 5780) that defined industrial hemp as a distinct crop to take advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program established under the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill),” wrote the members. “To date, however, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture has yet to adopt pilot program regulations. However, since the inauguration last month of Governor Ned Lamont, the state has expressed a renewed interest in industrial hemp cultivation—including line item funding for industrial hemp program in the recently-released budget proposal.

“Accordingly, we are seeking guidance as to whether there remains a pathway to cultivation of industrial hemp in Connecticut for the 2019 growing season.”

To view full text of the members’ letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, click here.