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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 6: Agriculture

Chapter 034: HEMP

  • § 561. Findings; intent

    (a) Findings.

    (1) Hemp has been continuously cultivated for millennia, is accepted and available in the global marketplace, and has numerous beneficial, practical, and economic uses, including: high-strength fiber, textiles, clothing, biofuel, paper products, protein-rich food containing essential fatty acids and amino acids, biodegradable plastics, resins, nontoxic medicinal and cosmetic products, construction materials, rope, and value-added crafts.

    (2) The many agricultural and environmental beneficial uses of hemp include: livestock feed and bedding, stream buffering, erosion control, water and soil purification, and weed control.

    (3) The hemp plant, an annual herbaceous plant with a long slender stem ranging in height from four to 15 feet and a stem diameter of one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch is morphologically distinctive and readily identifiable as an agricultural crop grown for the cultivation and harvesting of its fiber and seed.

    (4) Hemp cultivation will enable the State of Vermont to accelerate economic growth and job creation, promote environmental stewardship, and expand export market opportunities.

    (5) Section 10113 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-334 authorizes the growing, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp under a U.S. Department of Agriculture approved State program.

    (b) Purpose. The intent of this chapter is to establish policy and procedures for growing, processing, testing, and marketing hemp and hemp products in Vermont that comply with federal law so that farmers and other businesses in the Vermont agricultural industry can take advantage of this market opportunity. (Added 2007, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2013, No. 84, § 1; 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)

  • § 562. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Agency" means the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

    (2)(A) "Grow" means:

    (i) planting, cultivating, harvesting, or drying of hemp; and

    (ii) selling, storing, and transporting hemp grown by a grower.

    (B) "Grow" may be used interchangeably with the word "produce."

    (3) "Grower" means a person who is registered with the Agency to produce hemp crops.

    (4) "Hemp products" or "hemp-infused products" means all products with the federally defined tetrahydrocannabinol concentration level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, construction materials, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol.

    (5) "Hemp" or "industrial hemp" means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, including the seeds and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, acids, salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with the federally defined tetrahydrocannabinol concentration level of hemp. "Hemp" shall be considered an agricultural commodity.

    (6) "Process" means the storing, drying, trimming, handling, compounding, or converting of a hemp crop by a processor for a single grower or multiple growers into hemp products or hemp-infused products. "Process" includes transporting, aggregating, or packaging hemp from a single grower or multiple growers.

    (7) "Processor" means a person who is registered with the Agency to process hemp crops. A retail establishment selling hemp products or hemp-infused products is not a processor.

    (8) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets. (Added 2007, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2013, No. 84, § 1; 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)

  • § 563. Hemp; an agricultural product

    Industrial hemp is an agricultural product that may be grown as a crop produced, possessed, marketed, and commercially traded in Vermont pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and section 10113 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-334. The cultivation of industrial hemp shall be subject to and comply with the required agricultural practices adopted under section 4810 of this title. (Added 2007, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2013, No. 84, § 1; 2015, No. 64, § 13; 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)

  • § 564. State Hemp Program; registration; application; administration

    (a) The Secretary shall establish and administer a State Hemp Program to regulate the growing, processing, testing, and marketing of industrial hemp and hemp products in the State.

    (b)(1) A person shall register annually with the Secretary as part of the State Hemp Program in order to grow, process, or test hemp or hemp products in the State. A person shall apply for registration or renewal of a registration on a form provided by the Secretary. The application shall be accompanied by the fee required under section 570 of this title. The application or renewal form shall include:

    (A) the name and address of the person applying for or renewing a registration;

    (B) whether the person is applying to grow, process, or test hemp or hemp products;

    (C) for a person applying as a grower:

    (i) the location and acreage of all parcels where hemp will be grown;

    (ii) a statement that the seeds obtained for planting are of a type and variety that do not exceed the federally defined tetrahydrocannabinol concentration level of hemp;

    (D) for a person applying as a processor, the location of the processing site;

    (E) for a person applying to test hemp or hemp products, the location of the site where testing will occur and any proof of certification required by the Secretary; and

    (F) any additional information that the Secretary may require by rule.

    (2) The Secretary may verify the information provided in the application or renewal form under subdivision (1) of this subsection and on any maps accompanying the application or renewal form and may request additional information in order to perform a review of an application for registration or renewal.

    (c) The Secretary may deny an application for registration or renewal if the applicant:

    (1) does not provide all the information requested on the application or renewal form;

    (2) fails to submit the fee required under section 570 of this title;

    (3) fails to submit additional information requested by the Secretary under subsection (a) of this section; or

    (4) does not, as determined by the Secretary, satisfy the requirements of section 10113 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-334 for participation in the Program.

    (d) A person registered under this section may purchase or import hemp genetics from any state that complies with the federal requirements for the cultivation of industrial hemp.

    (e) A person registered with the Secretary under this section to grow, process, or test hemp crops or hemp products shall allow the Secretary to inspect hemp crops, processing sites, or laboratories registered under the State Hemp Program. The Secretary shall retain tests and inspection information collected under this section for the purposes of research of the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp.

    (f) The name and general location of a person registered under this section shall be available for inspection and copying under the Public Records Act, provided that all records produced or acquired by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets related to the location of parcels where hemp will be grown, including coordinates, maps, and parcel identifiers, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed for inspection and copying under the Public Records Act. (Added 2007, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2013, No. 84, § 1; 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)

  • § 565. Repealed. 2013, No. 84, § 1.

  • § 566. Rulemaking authority

    (a) The Secretary may adopt rules to provide for the implementation of this chapter and the Program authorized under this chapter, which may include rules to:

    (1) require hemp to be tested during growth for tetrahydrocannabinol levels;

    (2) authorize or specify the method or methods of testing hemp, including, where appropriate, the ratio of cannabidiol to tetrahydrocannabinol levels or a taxonomic determination using genetic testing;

    (3) require inspection and supervision of hemp during sowing, growing season, harvest, storage, and processing; and

    (4) require labels or label information for hemp products in order to provide consumers with product content or source information or to conform with federal requirements.

    (b) The Secretary shall adopt rules establishing how the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets will conduct research within the Program for industrial hemp.

    (c) The Secretary shall adopt rules establishing requirements for the registration of processors of hemp and hemp-infused products. (Added 2007, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2013, No. 84, § 1; 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)

  • § 567. Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets; testing

    The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall establish a cannabis quality control program for the following purposes:

    (1) to develop potency and contaminant testing protocols for hemp and hemp-infused products;

    (2) to verify cannabinoid label guarantees of hemp and hemp-infused products;

    (3) to test for pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and bacterial and fungal contaminants in hemp and hemp-infused products; and

    (4) to certify testing laboratories that can offer the services in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section. (Added 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 568. Test results; enforcement

    (a) If the Secretary or a dispensary registered under 18 V.S.A. chapter 86 tests a hemp crop and the hemp has a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, the person registered with the Secretary as growing the hemp crop shall:

    (1) enter into an agreement with a dispensary registered under 18 V.S.A. chapter 86 for the separation of the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol from the hemp crop, return of the hemp crop to the person registered with the Secretary, and retention of the separated delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol by the dispensary;

    (2) sell the hemp crop to a dispensary registered under 18 V.S.A. chapter 86; or

    (3) arrange for the Secretary to destroy or order the destruction of the hemp crop.

    (b) To enforce the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary, upon presenting appropriate credentials, may conduct one or more of the following:

    (1) Enter upon any premises where hemp is grown or processed and inspect premises, machinery, equipment and facilities, any crop during any growth phase, or any hemp product or hemp-infused product during processing or storage. Inspection under this section may include the taking of samples, inspection of records, and inspection of equipment or vehicles used in the growing, processing, or transport of hemp crops, hemp products, or hemp-infused products.

    (2) Inspect any retail location offering hemp products or hemp-infused products. Inspection under this section may include the taking of samples of such products.

    (3) Issue and enforce a written or printed "stop sale" order to the owner or custodian of any hemp crop, hemp product, or hemp-infused product subject to the requirements of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter that the Secretary finds is in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter. An order may prohibit further sale, processing, and movement of the hemp crop, hemp product, or hemp-infused product until the Secretary has approved and issued a release from the "stop sale" order.

    (c) A crop or product confirmed by the Secretary to meet the definition of hemp under State or federal law may be sold or transferred in interstate commerce to the extent authorized by federal law. (Added 2017, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)

  • § 569. Administrative penalties

    (a) Except for violations set forth under subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary may assess an administrative penalty, not to exceed $1,000.00 per violation, for any violation of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter, including:

    (1) failure to provide the location of the land on which the grower grows hemp crops or the processor processes hemp crops into hemp products or hemp-infused products; or

    (2) failing to obtain a registration in accordance with section 570 of this title.

    (b) The Secretary may assess an administrative penalty, not to exceed $5,000.00 per violation in any case in which the Secretary determines that a grower or processor:

    (1) failed to follow a corrective action plan to correct a negligent violation;

    (2) has grown or processed hemp in violation of the requirements of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter three times in a five-year period; or

    (3) has produced hemp in violation of the requirements of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter with a culpable mental state greater than negligence.

    (c) In determining the amount of the penalty assessed under this section, the Secretary may give consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the business being assessed, the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the person alleged to be in violation, and the overall compliance history of the person alleged to be in violation.

    (d) The Secretary shall use the following procedure in assessing penalties:

    (1) the Secretary shall issue a written notice of violation setting forth facts that would establish probable cause that a violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter has occurred;

    (2) the notice required under subdivision (1) of this subsection shall comply with all of the following:

    (A) The notice shall be served by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

    (B) The notice shall advise the recipient of the right to a hearing. If a hearing is requested, the hearing shall be conducted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

    (C) The notice shall state the proposed penalty and shall advise the recipient that, if no hearing is requested, the decision of the Secretary shall become final and a penalty shall be imposed.

    (D) The notice shall advise the recipient that they shall have 15 days from the date on which notice is received to request a hearing.

    (e) Any party aggrieved by a final decision of the Secretary may appeal to a Superior Court within 30 days of the final decision of the Secretary. The Secretary may enforce a final administrative penalty by filing a civil collection action in any District or Superior Court. (Added 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)

  • § 570. Registration fees

    (a) A person applying for a registration or renewal under section 564 of this title annually shall pay the following fees:

    (1) for an application to grow less than 0.5 acres of hemp for personal use: $25.00;

    (2) for an application or renewal of registration to grow or process hemp seed for food oil production, grain crop, fiber, or textile: $100.00;

    (3) except as provided for in subdivision (4) of this subsection, for an application or renewal of registration to grow, process, or grow and process hemp commercially for floral material production, viable seed, or cannabinoids, including cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), or tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), the following fee based on the greater of the number of acres planted or the weight of hemp or viable seed processed:

    Acres of Hemp Grown or  Fee

    Pounds of Hemp Processed or

    Viable Seed Cultivated

    Annually for Floral Material or

    Cannabinoids

    Less than 0.5 acres or less than 500 pounds  $100.00

    0.5 to 9.9 acres or less than 10,000 pounds  $500.00

    10 to 50 acres or less than 50,000 pounds  $1,000.00

    Greater than 50 acres or greater than

    50,000 pounds  $3,000.00

    (4) for an application or renewal of registration to operate exclusively within an indoor facility in order to grow, process, or grow and process hemp commercially for floral material production, viable seed, or cannabinoids, including cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), or tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), the following fee based on the size of the indoor facility:

    (A) for a facility with an area of 500 square feet or less: $1,000.00; and

    (B) for a facility with an area greater than 500 square feet: $2,000.00.

    (5) for an application or renewal of registration as a laboratory certified to conduct testing of hemp and hemp products as part of the Agency's cannabis control program: $1,500.00.

    (b) A person registered to grow, process, or grow and process hemp for floral material production, viable seed, or cannabinoids shall not grow more acres of hemp per year than the amount identified in a registration without first notifying the Secretary and paying an additional registration fee if necessary under subsection (a) of this section.

    (c) The registration fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the special fund created by subsection 364(e) of this title and shall be used for the administration of the requirements of this chapter. (Added 2019, No. 44, § 1, eff. May 30, 2019.)