Montana will become the first state to establish a checkoff program for hemp. The establishment of a hemp checkoff was completely producer-driven and aims to use 1 percent of commodity revenue to help Montana hemp production remain “cutting edge.”

“Just like any crop, hemp takes investment; particularly in research, but also in marketing and education,” said Ben Thomas, director of the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Thomas explained it was quite the process to get this checkoff program off the ground. The initial push required a petition from Montana growers that had to be submitted to the Montana Department of Agriculture. The petitions were received over a year ago and thus started the program development.

It has been decided that a percentage-based checkoff is really the most equitable. All byproducts of hemp are eligible and the idea is that if a certain hemp commodity markets for less, then those producers will not have to…

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