Can I grow Hemp in my backyard? The Answer may Shock You!
Hemp is 100% legal, so can I grow Hemp in my backyard?
The answer – The 2018 Farm Bill made Hemp 100% legal to grow in the United States, but it did not address Federal Law for residential growing. If you are looking to farm hemp commercially or grow it for research purposes, then you must get a license from your state’s Department of Agriculture. If your state is friendly to Hemp, you are able to grow a certain number of Hemp plants in your backyard; click here to check your state. I also attached a map below so you can check your state fast!
Watch the Youtube video below to see Greg Zartt’s backyard DIY grow in Washington State, you might want to skip to the 2-minute mark to see the step by step:
Oregon and Colorado: 2 States You Can Grow Hemp in Your Backyard
Oregon and Colorado are prime examples. The state of Oregon allows non-licensed growers at least 21 years old to have 4 Hemp plants at one time. Colorado allows citizens 21 years or older to grow 3-6 flowering plants per person for recreational purposes.
Check out the chart below to see if your state is friendly to Hemp:
The 47 Hemp-Friendly States
You can see from the chart above that Idaho, South Dakota and Mississippi are the 3 worst states to grow Hemp. Let’s find out why below.
The 3 Worst States Explained
- Idaho – You would think Idaho would be a farm-friendly state, but not with Hemp! The Idaho Department of Agriculture legalized Hemp 100%, but only Hemp plants that contain 0% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). All Hemp plants will contain a trace amount of 0.3% THC or less on a dry weight basis. This amount is infinitely small and can’t make you high even if you drank a whole bottle of CBD Oil, but the state of Idaho is not budging.
- South Dakota – Home to Mount Rushmore, you would think South Dakota would be inclined to let Hemp growers live free? Not so fast. All forms of Hemp are illegal in South Dakota and will not comply with the 2018 Farm Bill.
- Mississippi – The Magnolia State does not make available the legal means to either grow or sell Hemp. As on January 2020, Mississippi has created the “Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Task Force” with the intent to “consider the potential of hemp cultivation, market potential and potential job creation in Mississippi.”
The 3 Best States to Grow Hemp
- Colorado – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) are pro-Hemp to the point they actually helps Hemp farmers get started! Western Colorado is beloved by Cannabis Sativa growers who regard it as the best climate in the world to grow Hemp for it’s unique soil and elevation.
- Oregon – The Oregon Department of Agriculture love their Hemp farmers, allowing them to grow more Hemp than another state! Just in May of 2019 alone, Oregonian Hemp Farmers planted over 46,219 acres of Hemp!
- New York – Could you have guessed New York is the 3rd friendliest state to Hemp Farmers? The New York Department of Agriculture makes growing Hemp simple and easy. Their application forms are not riddled with complex language and once your $500 application fee is paid, you are 100% legal to grow.
Step by Step How to Grow Hemp in Your Backyard
- Purchase your seeds – We purchase premium feminized Hemp Seeds from the Cheyenne Mountain Seed Company in Colorado Springs, Co. I hear Phytonyx is another premium retailer.
- Plan to plant your seeds in late spring – Spring is the best time of year because Hemp does not like frost.
- Check soil 1 inch deep – Use a soil thermometer, if your soil tests above 50° F your soil is ready to grow Hemp. The best climate to grow industrial Hemp is 60-80° F.
- Your soil PH levels must be between 6 – 7.5 – Use a paper test strip to make sure your soil is healthy enough to grow Hemp.
- Plant your seeds .75 to 1.25 inches deep (1.9 – 3.2 cm) – Attach a seed drill to a lawnmower to evenly space your seeds if you are growing to harvest the Hemp Fibers. You can still use this step to plant your Hemp seed in a pot.
- Water your Hemp plant 12 – 15 inches everyday – Hemp is drought-resistant, but it needs a consistent flow of water for the first 6 weeks. You can test to make sure your soil is damp enough by placing your finger down to your first knuckle. If it feels dry, water the soil 1 – 2 inches.
- Fertilize with a nitrogen-rich product ONLY when your seeds have germinated – Apply fertilizer on a warm day so the fertilizer does not stick to the plants. Remember to immediately water your plants after you fertilize so the soil will absorb the fertilizer.
- Fill a garden sprayer with pre-emergent herbicide and spray it on your Hemp Plant – The USDA has not officially registered a preferred herbicide or pesticide to be used on U.S. Hemp Plant as of 2018. Hemp plants will block weeds from growing, but this step is useful to protect your young Hemp plants while they are growing.
Steps to Harvest for Hemp Seeds
- After 16 weeks of watering your Hemp plant, harvest Hemp Seeds with a sickle – Hold the top of the stalk and cut just below the lowest seed pod with a sharp garden tool or sickle. Harvesting for Hemp seeds usually takes place in October.
- Place seeds onto a tarp – Purchase a large tarp, this can be a bit messy. Hold the Hemp stems and use a wooden baseball bat to break the seed pods over the tarp. Once done, gather all the Hemp seeds in the center of your tarp.
- Transfer seeds to 5 Gallon Bucket – Use the tarp like a siphon to transfer Hemp Seeds. Doing this will clean your Hemp Seeds by allowing any residue to blow away, so try to do this on a breezy day. Once transferred, sift seeds back and forth 10 times for a complete cleaning.
- Store seeds in a fridge between 32 – 40°F – Seal your hemp seeds in a plastic container with a lid. You need to place seeds in a cool area so they do not germinate. Germinated seeds could become germ infested, you can also keep them in a burlap bag in a moisture environment below 12%.
Steps to Harvest for Hemp Fibers
- As soon as your seeds start to develop, use a sickle to cut the stalks – Remember to cut the stalk as close to the ground so you can get the most fibers. Pile the stalks on top of each other and leave them outside.
- Wait 5 weeks to allow the stem to separate – This process allows the microbes and moisture to separate the bonds which hold the stems together – This process of letting the stalks rot is also known as “retting.”
- Dry stalks in a dry environment with 15% moisture level – You can purchase a moisture meter here.
- Separate the fibers using a decorator – A decorator is a Hemp processing machine with 2 rollers to process the hemp stalks. You can feed 1-2 hemp stalks through the machine to collect the hemp fibers on the other end. You can purchase one at your local farm machinery supply.
What is Hemp?
So, what is hemp? Hemp is the female version of Cannabis Sativa L. with low levels of THC. It cannot make you high, but botanical compounds called “Cannabinoids” can stimulate nearly every biological system in the human and canine body; bringing balance to mind and body.
Hemp and marijuana both originate from the plant genus, Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp being in the same plant family as Marijuana makes it difficult for people and the government to differentiate between the two. This is why Hemp was outlawed in the United States.
The legality of Hemp and Marijuana is very sensitive because many do not understand that Hemp is not Marijuana. Let’s look at the difference to get the truth:
The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
The major difference between Marijuana and Hemp is their THC content and practical uses:
- Marijuana is the male version with 13 to 20% THC.
- Hemp is the female with 0.3% THC, making it unable to produce a psychotropic effect with the same medicinal properties. The stalk is also used to make over 25,000 different everyday products.
6 of 25,000 Practical Uses of Hemp
Hemp has been used as early as ancient China for the practical uses made from the Hemp Stem including:
- Beauty products
- Wood Varnish
- Tattoo Ink
- Wellness Products
You can click here to see even more practical uses!
The Wellness Benefits of Hemp
Hemp contains naturally-occuring Cannabidiol (CBD), believing to be source of it’s wellness benefits. It is theorized it only takes 0.3% THC to activate the full potential of wellness benefits of CBD in the human and canine body.
Example: There have been many accounts on its usefulness in helping people with serious ailments. For instance, in 2017, a pensioner was arrested for supplying of CBD oil to patients with serious medical conditions. These people relied on this drug to relieve their symptoms. What made it even more interesting was that she was supplying the oil free of charge. When arrested, the pensioner’s customers complained about their inability to cope without access to the oil and the inability to find an alternative source for it.
If Hemp does not make you high and be considered to make sustainable products for society, why was it illegal until the 2018 Farm Bill?
The History of Hemp: Why is it Illegal?
Hemp was outlawed because politicians convinced the public of Hemp being Marijuana. All forms of Cannabis were initially outlawed in the United States as far back as 1932. This incident was due to the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. There was even further punishment with the passing of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) signed by U.S. President Richard Nixon.
Basically, as soon as Nixon signed the CSA into law, Hemp has been classified as a Schedule 1 Narcotic, the most dangerous of drug classification. This means Hemp is in the same category as LSD, heroin, and cocaine. Legally, the drugs are considered to have “high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns.”
Good News for Hemp in 2014 and 2019
Good news came in 2014 when lighter laws were placed on the production of Hemp by the Obama Administration. It approved small pilot programs for growing Hemp but the farmers still had to be authorized to grow it.
All interested farmers were to be approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The agreement reached by Congress instantly made Hemp legal to grow in the U.S. for the first time since 1937. Hemp may be the same plant species as marijuana, but it is not a narcotic.
The biggest news on hemp came in 2019, where it was no more to be regarded as a controlled substance. Based on the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), Hemp is to be removed as a Schedule I narcotic. Although Hemp is still illegal on a Federal Level, it is legal on a state level.
Now, you’ve learned everything from the states friendly to Hemp and how to grow Hemp in your backyard; you are on the fast track to becoming a Hemp Expert! If you are looking to experience the natural relief Hemp can bring, click here to check out our collection organic Hemp Extracts!
Discussion question: Have you tried to grow Hemp in your backyard? What was the result?
Thank you for taking the time to read Can I grow Hemp in my backyard? My mission is to help you become an expert in all things Hemp.
To your health,
Have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org