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Statutes Text

Article - Agriculture




§14–202.

    (a)    There is a Hemp Research Pilot Program.

    (b)    The purpose of the Program is to authorize and facilitate the research of hemp and any aspect of growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting, marketing, or selling hemp for agricultural or commercial purposes.

    (c)    The Department or an institution of higher education that submits an application to the Department in a manner determined by the Department may grow, cultivate, harvest, process, manufacture, transport, market, or sell hemp under the Program if the hemp is grown or cultivated to further agricultural research or academic research purposes.

    (d)    (1)    The Department shall certify and register a site that will be used to grow or cultivate hemp under the Program.

        (2)    The Department may charge a fee of up to $250 to certify and register a site that will be used to grow or cultivate hemp.

    (e)    In order to carry out the purpose of the Program:

        (1)    To the extent necessary, the Department or an institution of higher education may contract with a person to grow or cultivate hemp; and

        (2)    A person that grows or cultivates hemp under the Program may purchase or otherwise obtain seeds that produce plants that meet the definition of “hemp” under § 14–101 of this subtitle.

    (f)    (1)    In accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection and subject to paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, a person that grows or cultivates hemp under the Program shall:

            (i)    Verify that the plants grown or cultivated by the person meet the definition of “hemp” under § 14–101 of this subtitle;

            (ii)    Maintain all records of verification at the site that is used to grow or cultivate hemp; and

            (iii)    Make all records available for inspection by:

                1.    The Department; or

                2.    The institution of higher education that contracted with the person under subsection (e)(1) of this section to grow or cultivate hemp.

        (2)    The verification required under this subsection shall include:

            (i)    Documentation from an independent testing laboratory registered under § 13–3311 of the Health – General Article; or

            (ii)    Documentation from the institution of higher education that contracted with the person under subsection (e)(1) of this section to grow or cultivate hemp.

        (3)    An independent testing laboratory or an institution of higher education that provides verification documentation under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall conduct on–site inspections to perform the testing necessary for the verification.

        (4)    The frequency of the verification required under this subsection shall be determined by:

            (i)    The Department; or

            (ii)    The institution of higher education that contracted with a person under subsection (e)(1) of this section to grow or cultivate hemp.

    (g)    Notwithstanding any other provision of law:

        (1)    Hemp grown or cultivated under the Program is an agricultural product that may be:

            (i)    Possessed in the State; and

            (ii)    Sold, distributed, transported, marketed, or processed in the State or outside the State; and

        (2)    Hemp grown, cultivated, and harvested in a state that authorizes the growth, cultivation, and harvesting of hemp may be processed, manufactured, transported, marketed, or sold in the State under the Program.

    (h)    The Department or an institution of higher education may collect and publish data and research on hemp, including data and research on the growth, cultivation, production, and processing of hemp and products derived from hemp.

    (i)    The Department shall adopt regulations to carry out this subtitle.