Iowa agriculture officials “are working hard to have Iowa’s industrial hemp program implemented in time for the 2020 growing season,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said last week.

But there are still significant hurdles and risks associated with industrial hemp production, which was legalized in the 2018 farm bill, officials said.

“We want to caution people that it is not legal to cultivate, grow or distribute hemp in Iowa until the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) approves our state plan,” said Naig. “We also encourage growers to make sure they have quality seed and a buyer identified before they invest in hemp production.”

The USDA issued its proposed rules for domestic hemp...