2-501. Act, how cited.

Sections 2-501 to 2-519 shall be known and may be cited as the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 1.
2-502. Statement of policy; purpose of act.

It is the policy of this state that hemp is recognized as a viable agricultural crop. The purpose of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act is to:

(1) Align state law with federal law regarding the cultivation, handling, marketing, and processing of hemp and hemp products;

(2) Promote the cultivation and processing of hemp and open up new commercial markets for farmers and businesses through the sale of hemp products;

(3) Establish testing and compliance procedures;

(4) Promote the expansion of Nebraska's hemp industry to the maximum extent permitted by law and allow farmers and businesses to cultivate, handle, and process hemp and sell hemp products for commercial purposes;

(5) Encourage and empower research into hemp cultivation and the processing of hemp products at postsecondary institutions in the state and in the private sector;

(6) Facilitate interstate commerce by not impeding the shipment of hemp into and out of this state; and

(7) Return Nebraska to the forefront of the hemp industry.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 2.
2-503. Terms, defined.

For purposes of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act:

(1) Acceptable hemp THC level has the same meaning as in 7 C.F.R. 990.1, as such section existed on January 1, 2020;

(2) Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 means section 10113 of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Public Law 115-334, and any regulations adopted and promulgated under such section, as such section, act, and regulations existed on January 1, 2020;

(3) Approved testing facility means a testing facility approved by the department;

(4) Broker means a person who engages or participates in the marketing of hemp by acting as an intermediary or negotiator between prospective buyers and sellers;

(5) Commercial sale means the sale of products in the stream of commerce, at retail, wholesale, and online;

(6) Commission means the Nebraska Hemp Commission;

(7) Cultivate or cultivating means planting, watering, growing, and harvesting a hemp plant or crop. The presence of plants of the plant Cannabis sativa L. growing as uncultivated, naturalized plants in the environment is not cultivating hemp for purposes of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act;

(8) Cultivator means a person who cultivates hemp;

(9) Department means the Department of Agriculture;

(10) Director means the Director of Agriculture or his or her designee;

(11) GPS coordinates means latitude and longitude coordinates derived from a global positioning system;

(12) Handle or handling means possessing or storing hemp plants or hemp plant parts prior to cultivation, in the process of cultivation, or after being harvested or dried but before processing. Handle or handling also includes possessing or storing such hemp plants or hemp plant parts in a vehicle for any period of time other than during its actual transport from the premises of a person licensed to cultivate or process hemp to the premises of another licensee. Handle or handling does not include possessing, storing, or transporting finished hemp products or hemp seeds;

(13) Hemp means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, including the viable seeds of such plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Hemp shall be considered an agricultural commodity. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, hemp shall not be considered a controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act;

(14) Licensee means an individual or a business entity possessing a license issued by the department under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, including authorized employees or agents of such licensee, to cultivate, handle, process, or broker hemp;

(15) Location ID means the unique identifier established by a licensee for each unique set of GPS coordinates where hemp is cultivated, handled, or processed;

(16) Lot means a contiguous area in a field, greenhouse, or indoor growing structure containing the same variety or strain of hemp throughout such area;

(17) Measurement of uncertainty has the same meaning as in 7 C.F.R. 990.1, as such section existed on January 1, 2020;

(18) Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, postsecondary institution, or other legal entity;

(19) Postsecondary institution means a postsecondary institution as defined in section 85-2403 that also meets the requirements of 20 U.S.C. 1001, as such section existed on January 1, 2019;

(20) Process or processing means converting hemp plants or plant parts into a marketable form;

(21) Processor-handler means a person who handles or processes hemp;

(22) Site means an area defined by the same legal description in a field, greenhouse, or other outdoor area or indoor structure, or for a mobile processor, such processor's primary place of business;

(23) THC means tetrahydrocannabinol; and

(24) USDA-licensed hemp producer means a person licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture to produce hemp as provided in 7 C.F.R. part 990, subpart C, as such regulations existed on January 1, 2020.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 3; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 1.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020

Cross References

2-504. Authorized activities; department; duties; rules and regulations.

(1) Subject to the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, it shall be lawful:

(a) For a licensee or his or her employee or agent to cultivate, handle, process, or broker hemp in Nebraska and to transport hemp outside of Nebraska; and

(b) To possess, transport, sell, and purchase lawfully produced hemp products.

(2) The department shall establish, operate, and administer a program to license and regulate cultivators, processor-handlers, and brokers that meets the requirements of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act.

(3) The department may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to implement the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act and administer programs, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Practices to maintain relevant information regarding land where hemp is cultivated, handled, or processed in the state, including a legal description of such land, for a period of not less than three calendar years;

(b) Procedures governing the sampling, chain of custody, and testing of hemp cultivated, handled, or processed in the state;

(c) Procedures for the effective destruction of plants cultivated, handled, or processed in violation of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act and hemp products made from those plants;

(d) Procedures implementing enforcement provisions outlined in the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, including factors to be considered when issuing administrative fines;

(e) A procedure for conducting, at a minimum, annual inspections of a random sample of hemp cultivators and processor-handlers to verify that hemp is not cultivated, processed, or handled in violation of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act or the state plan as described in section 2-516. The department may, at its discretion, conduct other inspections of a cultivator's or processor-handler's operation, including all sites registered with the department;

(f) A procedure for submitting required information to the United States Secretary of Agriculture not more than thirty days after the information is received;

(g) Standards governing the approval and denial of license applications by cultivators, processor-handlers, and brokers;

(h) Developing a bill of lading form for use by a person transporting hemp as provided in section 28-476. Such bill of lading shall, at a minimum:

(i) Identify the transporting person;

(ii) List a traceable reference, in accordance with the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, to the lot in which the hemp was grown, matching the lot listed on the test results or other documentation required by section 2-515 or section 28-476; and

(iii) Indicate the owner, shipping point of origin, and destination of the hemp;

(i) In consultation with the Nebraska State Patrol, standards for transporting hemp in this state to ensure that marijuana or any other controlled substance is not disguised as hemp and transported into, within, or through this state;

(j) Recordkeeping requirements and procedures; and

(k) Any other standard, practice, or procedure required by the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act or the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 4; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 2.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-505. Cultivation of hemp; application; form; contents; application fee; site registration fee; cultivator license; expiration; renewal; change in ownership or location; effect.

(1) Hemp may only be cultivated by a USDA-licensed hemp producer or a person meeting the requirements of section 2-5701 or in compliance with this section.

(2) Before a person may be licensed to cultivate hemp under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, such person shall submit an application on a form prescribed by the department that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) If the applicant is an individual, the applicant's full name, birthdate, mailing address, telephone number, and valid email address;

(b) If the applicant is an entity and not an individual, (i) the name of the applicant, mailing address, telephone number, and valid email address, (ii) the full name of each officer, director, partner, member, or owner owning in excess of ten percent of equity or stock in such entity, (iii) the full name of each key participant as defined in 7 C.F.R. 990.1, and (iv) the birthdate, title, mailing address, telephone number, and valid email address of each such person or key participant;

(c) The proposed acreage to be cultivated or the square footage of a greenhouse or other indoor space to be cultivated;

(d) The street address, legal description, location ID, and GPS coordinates for each field, greenhouse, building, or other site where hemp will be cultivated. The site information may be verified by the department; and

(e) Maps depicting each site where hemp will be cultivated, with appropriate indications for entrances, field boundaries, and specific locations corresponding to the GPS coordinates provided under subdivision (d) of this subsection.

(3) Before a person may be licensed to cultivate hemp under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, such person shall submit with the application a nonrefundable application fee as set by the department pursuant to section 2-508.

(4) Before a person may be licensed to cultivate hemp under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, such person shall submit a site registration fee as set by the department pursuant to section 2-508. The site registration fee shall be paid for each separate site where the applicant will cultivate hemp. Subsequent modifications to the sites listed in the application shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the department along with a site modification fee and shall only take effect upon written approval of the department. The applicant must certify that all sites where hemp is to be cultivated are under the control of the applicant and that the department shall have unlimited access to all such sites.

(5) After the department receives approval by the United States Secretary of Agriculture for the state plan described in section 2-516, an initial cultivator license application may be submitted at any time, except that the department may set a cutoff date for applications ahead of the growing season. An initial cultivator license issued by the department expires on December 31 in the calendar year for which it was issued.

(6) A renewal application for a license to cultivate hemp shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the department. A renewal application is due by December 31 and shall be accompanied by the cultivator license fee and the site registration fee for all sites listed in the renewal application. The renewal cultivator license is valid from January 1 or when the license is granted, whichever is later, through December 31 next following.

(7) A cultivator license shall lapse automatically upon a change of ownership or location, and a new license must be obtained. The licensee shall promptly provide notice of change in ownership or location to the department.

(8) An application and supporting documents submitted to the department under this section are not public records subject to disclosure pursuant to sections 84-712 to 84-712.09. Such information may be submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the requirements of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 or any other federal statute, rule, or regulation, and may be submitted to law enforcement.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 5; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 3.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-506. Processor-handler or broker; license; required, when; application; form; contents; application fee; site registration fee; processor-handler or broker license; expiration; renewal; change in ownership or location; effect.

(1) Except for handling by an approved testing facility, a USDA-licensed hemp producer, or a cultivator licensed under section 2-505, a person shall not process, handle, or broker hemp plants or plant parts in this state unless the person meets the requirements of section 2-5701 or is in compliance with this section and licensed as a processor-handler or broker under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act.

(2) Before a person may be licensed to process, handle, or broker hemp in this state, such person shall submit an application on a form prescribed by the department that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) If the applicant is an individual, the applicant's full name, birthdate, mailing address, telephone number, and valid email address;

(b) If the applicant is an entity and not an individual, the name of the applicant, mailing address, telephone number, and valid email address, the full name of each officer and director, partner, member, or owner owning in excess of ten percent of equity or stock in such entity, and the birthdate, title, mailing address, telephone number, and valid email address of each such person;

(c) The street address, legal description, location ID, and GPS coordinates for the site where hemp will be processed or handled, if applicable; and

(d) Maps depicting the site where hemp will be processed or handled, if applicable, with appropriate indications for entrances and specific locations corresponding to the GPS coordinates provided under subdivision (c) of this subsection.

(3) Before a person may be licensed to process, handle, or broker hemp, such person shall submit with the application a nonrefundable application fee as set by the department pursuant to section 2-508.

(4) Before a person may be licensed to process or handle hemp, such person shall submit a site registration fee as set by the department pursuant to section 2-508. The site registration fee shall be paid for each separate site where hemp is processed or handled. Subsequent modifications to the sites listed in the application shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the department along with the site modification fee and shall only take effect upon written approval of the department. The applicant must certify that all sites where hemp is to be processed or handled are under the control of the applicant and that the department shall have unlimited access to all such sites.

(5) An initial processor-handler or broker license application may be submitted at any time. An initial processor-handler or broker license issued by the department expires on December 31 in the calendar year for which it was issued.

(6) A renewal application for a processor-handler or broker license shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the department. A renewal application is due by December 31 and shall be accompanied by the processor-handler or broker license fee and, if applicable, the site registration fee for all sites listed in the renewal application. The renewal processor-handler or broker license is valid from January 1 or when the license is granted, whichever is later, through December 31 next following.

(7) A processor-handler or broker license shall lapse automatically upon a change of ownership or location, and a new license must be obtained. The licensee shall promptly provide notice of change in ownership or location to the department.

(8) A processor-handler licensee who also brokers hemp shall not be required to also obtain a broker license under this section.

(9) An application and supporting documents submitted to the department under this section are not public records subject to disclosure pursuant to sections 84-712 to 84-712.09. Such information may be submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the requirements of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 or any other federal statute, rule, or regulation, and may be submitted to law enforcement.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 6; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 4.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-507. Cultivator, processor-handler, and broker license applications; issuance; minimum qualifications; denial of license; hearing.

(1) The department shall receive and process all completed license applications and issue licenses to all qualified applicants. The department shall deny cultivator, processor-handler, and broker license applications if they are incomplete or deficient or if the applicant does not meet minimum qualifications, including, but not limited to:

(a) The applicant, if an individual, is at least eighteen years of age;

(b) The site registered by the applicant is located in this state;

(c) The applicant has no unpaid fees or fines owed to the state under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act;

(d) The applicant has not had a cultivator, processor-handler, or broker license revoked in the five years preceding the date of application;

(e) The applicant has not been deemed ineligible:

(i) At any time under this section;

(ii) In the five years preceding the date of application under section 2-511; or

(iii) In the ten years preceding the date of application under section 2-512; or

(f) Any individual listed in the application for a cultivator, processor-handler, or broker license has not been convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance under either state or federal law within the preceding ten years.

(2) If an application is incomplete or deficient, the department shall, in a timely manner, notify the applicant in writing describing the reason or reasons and request additional information. If such application is not corrected or supplemented within thirty days after the department's request, the department shall deny the application.

(3) Any person who intentionally and materially falsifies any information contained in an application under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act shall be ineligible to obtain a license to operate as a cultivator, processor-handler, or broker.

(4) A person aggrieved by the denial of a license may request a hearing pursuant to section 2-513.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 7; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 5.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-508. License fees; delinquent fee; administrative fee; waiver by department; grounds.

(1) License fees under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act are due on or before December 31 and shall be in the amount listed in column A of subsection (2) of this section. The fees due on or before December 31, 2019, and by each December 31 thereafter shall be set by the director on or before July 1 of each year. The director may raise or lower such fees each year to meet the criteria in this subsection, but the fee shall not be greater than the amount in column B of subsection (2) of this section. The same percentage shall be applied to each category for all fee increases or decreases. The director shall use the fees in column A of subsection (2) of this section as a base for future fee increases or decreases. The director shall determine the fees based on estimated annual revenue and fiscal year-end cash fund balances as follows:

(a) The estimated annual revenue shall not be greater than one hundred seven percent of program cash fund appropriations allocated for the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act; and

(b) The estimated fiscal year-end cash fund balance shall not be greater than seventeen percent of program cash fund appropriations allocated for the act.

(2) Fees.

Fees A B
Cultivator, processor-handler, and
broker license application fee $100 $150
Cultivator site registration fee $400 per site $600 per site
Processor-handler site
registration fee $800 per site $1,200 per site
Site modification fee $50 $75

(3) Any fee remaining unpaid for more than one month shall be considered delinquent and the person owing the fee shall pay an additional administrative fee of twenty-five percent of the delinquent amount for each month it remains unpaid, not to exceed one hundred percent of the original amount due. The department may waive the additional administrative fee based upon the existence and extent of any mitigating circumstances that have resulted in the late payment of such fee. The purpose of the additional administrative fee is to cover the administrative costs associated with collecting fees, and all money collected as an additional administrative fee shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Nebraska Hemp Program Fund.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 8.
2-509. Nebraska Hemp Program Fund; established; use; investment.

The Nebraska Hemp Program Fund is established. The fund shall be administered by the department for the purpose of covering the costs of the department in administering sections 2-504 to 2-516 and 2-5701. The fund may receive appropriations by the Legislature, gifts, grants, federal funds, and any other funds both public and private. All fees collected by the department under sections 2-508 and 2-5701 shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the fund. Transfers from the Nebraska Hemp Program Fund to the Noxious Weed Cash Fund may be made as provided in section 2-958. Transfers from the Nebraska Hemp Program Fund to the Fertilizers and Soil Conditioners Administrative Fund may be made as provided in section 81-2,162.27. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 9.

Cross References

2-510. Cultivator, processor-handler, or broker; consent to certain actions; acknowledge risk of financial loss under act.

(1) A cultivator, processor-handler, or broker consents to all of the following:

(a) A background check for any felony controlled substance charge in the ten years prior to the time of application completed by the department or a law enforcement agency at the direction of the department, at any time, for all of the individuals listed on the cultivator's, processor-handler's, or broker's application at the applicant's expense, which shall be in addition to the application and registration fees;

(b) Entry onto, and inspection of, all registered sites by the department or by persons at the direction of the department, with or without cause, and with reasonable advance notice;

(c) Reimbursement of the department for expenses relating to sampling and testing of any hemp or hemp material;

(d) Destruction of any of the following:

(i) Hemp found to have a measured delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration greater than the acceptable hemp THC level. Only hemp from lots found to have a measured delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration greater than the acceptable hemp THC level shall be subject to destruction;

(ii) Hemp intended for commercial purposes that is present at a location not included in a cultivator's or processor-handler's application; and

(iii) Hemp that is cultivated, processed, handled, or brokered in a manner that violates the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act or the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated thereunder; and

(e) Inspections by the department, at least annually, of cultivators and processor-handlers to verify that hemp is not cultivated, processed, or handled in violation of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act.

(2) A cultivator, processor-handler, or broker acknowledges that all risk of financial loss under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act is borne by such person. No compensation shall be paid by the department or the State of Nebraska for destruction of any hemp under this section.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 10; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 6.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-511. Negligent violations; director; powers; criminal enforcement; ineligibility to obtain license; corrective action plan; contents; administrative fine; recovery.

(1) For purposes of this section, a negligent violation shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) Failure to provide an accurate legal description of land on which a person cultivates hemp;

(b) Failure to obtain a license or other required authorization from the department; or

(c) Production of cannabis with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level. A cultivator does not commit a negligent violation under this subsection if the cultivator has made reasonable efforts to grow hemp and the cannabis does not have a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of more than 0.5 percent on a dry weight basis.

(2) Upon a determination by the director that any person in the state has negligently violated the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, a state plan as described in section 2-516 approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, any rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under the act, a corrective action plan issued pursuant to this section, or an order of the director, the director may:

(a) Issue an order specifying the provisions of the act, state plan, rule or regulation, corrective action plan, or order alleged to have been violated and the facts alleged to constitute a violation;

(b) Issue a cease and desist order to the violator; and

(c) Issue an order for a corrective action plan in accordance with this section.

(3) Any person who commits a negligent violation under this section shall not be subject to any additional criminal enforcement by state or local government authorities other than authorized under this section.

(4) Any person who negligently violates the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, a state plan as described in section 2-516 approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, any rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under the act, a corrective action plan issued pursuant to this section, or an order of the director three times in a five-year period shall be ineligible to obtain a license to cultivate, handle, process, or broker hemp for a period of five years beginning on the date of the third violation.

(5) If the director orders issuance of a corrective action plan, such plan may include:

(a) A reasonable date by which the licensee shall correct the negligent violation;

(b) A requirement that the licensee shall periodically report to the department on the compliance of the licensee with the corrective action plan for a period of not less than the next two calendar years;

(c) An administrative fine of up to five hundred dollars per day; and

(d) Temporary suspension of a license to operate as a cultivator, processor-handler, or broker.

(6) Upon violation of a corrective action plan, the director may issue an amended corrective action plan.

(7) A person aggrieved by an order of the director may request a hearing pursuant to section 2-513.

(8) The director shall advise the Attorney General of the failure of any person to pay an administrative fine imposed under this section. The Attorney General shall bring an action in Lancaster County district court to recover the fine.

(9) Any administrative fine collected under this section shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for distribution in accordance with Article VII, section 5, of the Constitution of Nebraska.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 11; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 7.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-512. Violations of act, state plan, or other provisions; director; duties; ineligibility to obtain license; hearing.

(1) Upon a determination by the director that any person in the state has, with a culpable mental state greater than negligence, violated the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, a state plan approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, any rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under the act, or an order of the director, the director shall:

(a) Notify the United States Attorney General;

(b) Notify the Attorney General; and

(c) Notify the county attorney for the county in which the violation occurred.

(2) Any person who, with a culpable mental state greater than negligence, violates the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, a state plan as described in section 2-516 approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, any rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under the act, a corrective action plan issued pursuant to this section, or an order of the director three times in a five-year period shall be ineligible to obtain a license to cultivate, handle, process, or broker hemp for a period of ten years beginning on the date of the third violation.

(3) A person aggrieved by an order of the director may request a hearing pursuant to section 2-513.

(4) For purposes of this section, culpable mental state greater than negligence means to act intentionally, knowingly, willfully, or recklessly.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 12; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 8.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-513. Order of director; hearing; request; decision; appeal.

(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the director pursuant to the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act for which a hearing was not held may request a hearing by contacting the department in writing within thirty days after the date the order was issued, and a hearing shall thereafter be held. Hearings shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. At such hearing the department shall receive any relevant evidence and the burden of the proof shall be upon the person aggrieved by the director's order. After such hearing the department shall render a decision in writing and shall issue such order or orders duly certified as deemed necessary.

(2) Appeals of final orders issued after a hearing held pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The district court for Lancaster County shall have exclusive jurisdiction for appeals taken under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 13.

Cross References

2-514. Sample; testing; department; powers; list of approved testing facilities; report.

(1) At the licensee's expense, hemp from each lot grown at each cultivation site registered with the department shall be sampled for compliance with the acceptable hemp THC level prior to harvest and tested by an approved testing facility. After such lot sample is taken, the lot represented by the sample shall be harvested within fifteen days. The results of such tests shall be certified directly to the department by the approved testing facility prior to harvest. The test results shall identify the lot for the hemp represented by the sample.

(2) The department may, at its discretion, conduct sampling and testing of any hemp from any licensee at any time.

(3) The department may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing the sampling and testing of hemp, including, but not limited to, the number of samples required, the procedure for gathering samples, and certification of the test results to the department.

(4) Testing of hemp required under this section shall be conducted pursuant to standards adopted by the department using post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods for the testing of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration. The testing methodology shall consider the potential conversion of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in hemp into THC and the test results shall measure total available THC derived from the sum of the THC and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid content.

(5) Testing of hemp shall be conducted by an approved testing facility.

(6) The department shall create and maintain a list of approved testing facilities.

(7) The entire hemp plant is not required to be submitted for testing.

(8) The test sample shall be obtained in compliance with the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

(9) The requirements of this section shall be sufficient for both dioecious and monoecious cultivars.

(10) The approved testing facility shall provide a report giving the results of the potency analysis of each sample. Measurement of uncertainty shall be estimated and reported with test results. Laboratories shall use appropriate validated methods and procedures for all testing activities and evaluation of measurement of uncertainty. For tests directed by the department, the report shall be provided to the licensee and a copy of the report shall be issued to the department. The report shall be provided before the harvest date, if applicable.

(11) When a test result is adverse, the department may require a licensee to have further tests done and may require harvesting and destruction of any plants in any portions of the site containing noncompliant plants.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 14; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 9.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-515. Cultivator or processor-handler transporting hemp; duties; record of shipments; licensee; duties.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, any cultivator transporting hemp cultivated under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act shall carry with the hemp being transported a copy of the cultivator license under which it was cultivated and a copy of the test results pertaining to each lot of hemp being transported.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, any processor-handler transporting hemp processed under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act shall carry with the hemp being transported a copy of the processor-handler license under which the hemp is being transported and a copy of the test results pertaining to such hemp.

(3)(a) A licensee shall maintain a record of shipments of hemp shipped from or received by the licensee. Such record shall, for each shipment of hemp, indicate the date of shipment, identify the point of origin and destination, identify the name of the person sending and receiving the shipment, and include the vehicle identification number of the vehicle transporting the hemp. Each shipment of hemp shall be entered on the record of shipments kept by the licensee by the close of the business day the shipment is shipped from or received by the licensee.

(b) A licensee may give notice to the Nebraska State Patrol up to seven days prior to a shipment of hemp to be shipped from or received by the licensee. Such notification shall be given in a manner and form prescribed by the Nebraska State Patrol and shall not be considered a public record for purposes of sections 84-712 to 84-712.09.

(4) Any licensee transporting hemp cultivated or processed under the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act shall not be required to carry a copy of the test results relating to such hemp as provided in subsection (1) or (2) of this section if such licensee carries with the hemp being transported a copy of the applicable license and is transporting:

(a) Hemp between two registered sites listed on the licensee's license application;

(b) Samples of hemp for testing to determine the THC level for private testing purposes prior to testing pursuant to section 2-514; or

(c) Live hemp plants to a registered site listed on the licensee's license application prior to cultivating such hemp plants.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 15; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 10.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-516. State plan; director; duties; contents; disapproval; amended plan; alteration or amendment authorized.

(1) No later than December 31, 2019, the director, in consultation with the Governor and the Attorney General, shall submit to the United States Secretary of Agriculture for approval a state plan by which the department shall regulate the cultivation, handling, and processing of hemp. Such state plan shall include, at a minimum:

(a) A practice to maintain relevant information regarding land on which hemp is cultivated, handled, or processed in Nebraska, including a legal description of the land, for a period of not less than three calendar years;

(b) A procedure for testing, using post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of hemp cultivated in Nebraska;

(c) A procedure for the effective destruction of hemp that is cultivated, processed, or handled in violation of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act;

(d) A procedure to implement enforcement procedures under the act;

(e) A procedure for conducting, at a minimum, annual inspections of a random sample of hemp cultivators and processor-handlers to verify that hemp is not being cultivated, processed, or handled in violation of state or federal law;

(f) A procedure for submitting required information to the United States Department of Agriculture, as required; and

(g) A certification that the state has the resources and personnel needed to carry out the practices and procedures required by the act and federal law.

(2) If the United States Secretary of Agriculture disapproves the plan, the director, in consultation with the Governor and the Attorney General, shall submit an amended state plan to the secretary within ninety days after such disapproval.

(3) The director shall have the authority to alter or amend the state plan as required, consistent with the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act and federal law.

(4) Nothing in the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act shall be construed to be less restrictive than the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 16; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 11.
Operative Date: August 8, 2020
2-517. Nebraska Hemp Commission; members; qualifications; terms; quorum; expenses; powers and duties; report; contents.

(1) The Nebraska Hemp Commission is created. The commission shall consist of the following members:

(a) The dean of the University of Nebraska College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources or his or her designee;

(b) One member representing postsecondary institutions other than the University of Nebraska; and

(c) Three members appointed by the Governor representing the following interests:

(i) Two Nebraska farmers with an interest in cultivating hemp; and

(ii) A manufacturer of hemp products.

(2) Members appointed pursuant to subdivisions (1)(b) and (c) of this section shall serve a term of four years and may be reappointed. A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. The commission shall annually elect one member from among the remaining members to serve as chairperson. The commission shall meet quarterly and may meet more often upon the call of the chairperson or by request of a majority of the members. The commission shall be appointed no later than sixty days after July 1, 2021, and conduct its first meeting no later than thirty days after appointment of the commission. The members of the commission shall serve without pay but shall receive expenses incurred while on official business as provided in sections 81-1174 to 81-1177.

(3) The commission shall have primary responsibility for promoting the Nebraska hemp industry and shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To appoint and fix the salary of such support staff and employees, who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission, as may be required for the proper discharge of the functions of the commission;

(b) To prepare and approve a budget;

(c) To adopt and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary to carry out this section and section 2-519;

(d) To contract for services and authorize the expenditure of funds which are necessary for the proper operation of this section and section 2-519;

(e) To keep minutes of its meetings and other books and records which will clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the commission and to keep such records open to public examination by any person during normal business hours;

(f) To prohibit using any funds collected by the commission to directly or indirectly support or oppose any candidate for public office or to influence state legislation; and

(g) To establish an administrative office at such place in the state as may be suitable for the proper discharge of commission functions.

(4) The commission shall periodically report to the Governor and to the Legislature on hemp policies and practices that will result in the proper and legal growth, management, marketing, and use of the state's hemp industry. Any report submitted to the Legislature shall be submitted electronically. Such policies and practices shall, at a minimum, address the following:

(a) Federal laws and regulatory constraints;

(b) The economic and financial feasibility of a hemp market in Nebraska;

(c) Nebraska businesses that may potentially utilize hemp;

(d) Examination of research on hemp production and utilization;

(e) The potential for globally marketing Nebraska hemp;

(f) The feasibility of private funding for a Nebraska hemp research program;

(g) Law enforcement concerns;

(h) Statutory and regulatory schemes for the cultivation of hemp by private producers; and

(i) Technical support and education about hemp.

(5) The commission is authorized to develop and coordinate programs to research and promote hemp, including, but not limited to, cultivating, handling, processing, transporting, marketing, and selling hemp and preserving and developing Nebraska heirloom hemp varieties that possess characteristics of a unique and specialized cannabis sativa L. seed variety that exist as uncultivated, naturalized plants in the environment or historically have been commercially cultivated in Nebraska.

(6) The commission shall establish such programs with the goal of securing at least twenty percent participation by small and emerging businesses in the Nebraska hemp industry, including, but not limited to, cultivating, handling, processing, transporting, marketing, and selling hemp.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 17; Laws 2020, LB1152, § 12.
Operative Date: July 1, 2021
2-518. Hemp Promotion Fund; established; use; investment.

The Hemp Promotion Fund is established. The fund shall be administered by the commission for the purposes set forth in section 2-517. The fund may receive appropriations by the Legislature and gifts, grants, federal funds, and any other funds both public and private. All fees collected as set forth in section 2-519 shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the fund. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 18.
Operative Date: July 1, 2021

Cross References

2-519. Fees; records; violations; penalty.

(1) For purposes of this section:

(a) Commercial channels means the sale or delivery of hemp for any use to any commercial buyer, dealer, processor, or cooperative or to any person, public or private, who resells any hemp or hemp product;

(b) Delivered or delivery means receiving hemp for utilization or as a result of its sale in the State of Nebraska but excludes receiving hemp for storage; and

(c) First purchaser means any person, public or private corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, or other entity buying, accepting for shipment, or otherwise acquiring hemp from a cultivator.

(2) A fee of one cent per pound is levied upon all hemp seed and a fee of one dollar per ton is levied upon all hemp fiber sold through commercial channels in Nebraska or delivered in Nebraska. Two-thirds of the fee levied under this section shall be paid by the cultivator at the time of sale or delivery and shall be collected by the first purchaser. The first purchaser shall pay the remaining one-third of the fee. Hemp seed and hemp fiber shall not be subject to the fees imposed by this section more than once.

(3) The first purchaser, at the time of settlement with the cultivator, shall deduct the fees imposed by this section. The fees shall be deducted whether the hemp is stored in this state or any other state. The first purchaser shall maintain the necessary records of the fees for each purchase or delivery of hemp on the settlement form or check stub showing payment to the cultivator for each purchase or delivery. Such records maintained by the first purchaser shall be open for inspection during normal business hours and provide the following information:

(a) The name and address of the cultivator and first purchaser;

(b) The date of the purchase or delivery;

(c) The number of pounds of hemp seed or pounds or tons of hemp fiber purchased; and

(d) The amount of fees collected on each purchase or delivery.

(4) The first purchaser shall render and have on file with the department by the last day of January and July of each year, on forms prescribed by the commission, a statement of the number of pounds of hemp seed or pounds or tons of hemp fiber purchased in Nebraska. At the time the statement is filed, such first purchaser shall pay and remit to the commission the fees imposed by this section.

(5) All fees collected by the commission pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Hemp Promotion Fund. The commission shall remit the fees collected to the State Treasurer within ten days after receipt.

(6) Any person intentionally violating this section shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.

Source:Laws 2019, LB657, § 19.
Operative Date: July 1, 2021