AUGUSTA — Maine officials said the federal government has signed off on the state’s plans for the production of hemp, a growing piece of the state’s agriculture industry.

The Maine hemp program began in 2016, when it consisted of one grower who harvested seed from less than an acre, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said.

The program now includes 110 outdoor licenses and 362 licensed acres of planted hemp, as well as seven indoor grower licenses with more than 22,700 licensed square feet planted, the agriculture department said.

The agriculture department said it has assumed regulatory responsibility for hemp in the state.

Agriculture commissioner Amanda Beal said approval of the hemp production plan “means Maine’s growers will have certainty about the expectations and guidelines for hemp cultivation for the coming years.”

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