Several people were recently arrested after they attempted to harvest and remove hemp plants from properly licensed farms.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, it is a crime to harvest the plants without the proper licensing. Harvesting without permission from the license holder and land owner could result in criminal charges for theft and trespassing.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said under the 2014 and 2018 Federal Farm Bills and 2017 Wisconsin Act 100, Hemp can be grown in the State of Wisconsin. This program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Hemp plants are commonly used for grain, fiber or to make CBD oil.

Licenses can be obtained to grow and process hemp under these laws. Hemp grows and processing locations must be licensed by DATCP. There are a number of licensed hemp growers in Columbia County. Transporting cultivated hemp plants requires proper paperwork issued by DATCP.

Hemp plants grown under these licenses and laws must be very low in THC but will have similar physical characteristics to illegally cultivated high THC cannabis plants.

In 2019, more than 1,400 people in Wisconsin applied to be hemp farmers.

For more information about the State of Wisconsin Hemp program, please visit the following DATCP website:

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