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Protocol Facilitated by USDA through Farm Service Offices
(formerly known as County Extension Agencies)


1) Government approved certified seed planted on GPS designated fields.

2) Government inspection of designated fields at any time.

3) Certified seed issued to qualified farmers only after end-buyers are under contract.


1) The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) should remove industrial hemp from the DEA Schedule 1 drug list.

2) Industrial hemp seed should be acquired for use in a field testing program. 

3) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) should establish a germplasm bank to collect and document strains of seed collected for seed trials.

4) Once seed is acquired from Canada, Europe, Asia and other areas, including from Dr. Paul Mahlberg in the United States, the scientists at the USDA should begin a viable seed replication and testing protocol in cooperation with the private sector. 

5) Registration of potential hemp growers can begin immediately providing:

a) Agreement to sign a growing permit for specific acreage.

b) Location and number of acres with GPS data.

c) Grower is free of any drug indictment for past 10 years.

d) Agreement to use USDA certified hemp seed.

e) Permission to allow monitoring of hemp crop for THC levels at any time.

f) Identification of end-user or market.

6) USDA will establish and monitor the hemp seed certification program.

7) Allow growing of hemp in several locations (states) initially for 3-5 years:

a) North Dakota (46-49 degrees latitude) – comparable to southern Manitoba.

b) Wisconsin (42-45 degrees latitude) – comparable to London, Ontario

c) Illinois (38-42 degrees latitude) – day-length comparable to Italy and Spain

d) Kentucky – historically known for seed production

e) North Carolina – coastal plains research

8) Year 1: Allow growing 200 acres in 2 or more locations in each of the several states.

9) Years 2-5: Gradually expand acreage based on experience, technology and market potential.

10) Other growing areas and states to be added as needed.

11) Establish a hemp Board as advisory to USDA to develop, implement and oversee the Certified Industrial Hemp program. The use of a Marketing Order similar to those used for other crops can be used for industrial hemp. 

12) Funds from a grower/industry check-off (self-assessment) should be deducted at first point of sale. Funds collected should be used to offset research and development costs for crop and product development.


Summary developed by Jeffrey W. Gain, member of the Board of Directors of the North American Industrial Hemp Council, former Executive Director of the American Soybean Association and former CEO of the National Corn Growers Association.

This summary is from NAIHC's more detailed “New Beginnings” recommendations, available upon request.