Nebraska hemp farmers say outdated Regulations Leave them Disadvantaged
Nebraska has yet to update its hemp law to match the final federal rules and regulations.
Nebraska's hemp industry says it's going in the wrong direction. The state commission says two years ago there were 84 people holding hemp licenses – less than half remain in 2022.
Growers say outdated state regulations are getting in the way. In a field near Plattsmouth, Annette and Bruce Wiles had one of the first 10 licenses to grow hemp.
Now they’re selling their land. "Because our state just hasn't gotten behind it. You know Bruce and I are looking for what our options are," Annette Wiles said.
She remains the chairperson of the governor's hemp commission formed in January this year. The licensing testing and fees are stifling growth, says this Columbus producer.
"You're on the verge of losing four-grain farmers because of these fees. If we lose that, we've lost the number one reason for hemp in Nebraska," Duane Ohlrich said.
The owner of a Lincoln lab that is DEA registered told the commission the retail side of CBD is not being regulated or taxed. Wiles hopes to work with lawmakers – she hasn't given up.
“It's a fiber or grain crop that's been around for a long time and isn't going away,” Wiles said.