Growing hemp flower in Rhode Island is far more legal than it used to be, thanks to changes in federal legislation. However, is it physically possible? The short answer is yes, as the terrain and climate do favor hemp crop growth for those with the right land, attitude, and tools. The growing season is just long enough for one crop per year, with a bit of latitude. Keep reading to learn more.
Plant Hardiness Zone(s)
Rhode Island plant hardiness zones are a narrow range of 6a, 6b, and 7a. The majority of the state enjoys a humid continental climate, meaning warm summers and cold winters. The climate is certainly temperature enough for the successful growth of industrial hemp flower in either of the two distinct regions. The eastern part of the state centers around the Narragansett Bay lowlands, and the western end of the state is a smaller portion of the larger New England upland. Southern coastal parts of the state broadly transition into the lower subtropical climates.
Average highs in the summer hit the low 80sF, with the highest recorded temperature being 104F. The record low was -23F.
Length of Growing Season
The growing season in Rhode Island runs from the middle of May to the middle of October or roughly five months. As industrial hemp flower needs roughly four months to mature, this allows for one crop per year with wiggle room at either end.
Average Annual Sunlight
The state of Rhode Island averages 98 clear days per year with 58-percent sunlight availability. A typical year means 2606 hours of sunlight.
Average Annual Precipitation
Average annual precipitation in Rhode Island is about 50 inches. This is a foot more than the American national average of 38 inches, which helps with watering crops.
Rhode Island is almost uniformly flat, having neither mountains nor significant hill country within its borders. The terrain ranges from sea level up to Jerimoth Hill, peaking out at 812 feet. The mean elevation for the state is only 200 feet.
Much of the state’s soil tends toward the acidic end of the scale, perhaps more so than many plants usually need for soil nutrition. The University of Rhode Island offers a Master Gardener Soil Testing service that is free of charge, so you can get the content and texture of your soil analyzed by scientific experts and industry professionals who can guide you to the proper supplementation.
Soil composition in Rhode Island includes a lot of loam in the top four layers of soil. The presence of coarse sand occurs with growing frequency towards the coast.
Crops in Rhode Island are susceptible to certain potential pests. Official warnings have been issued for the government for the following species in particular: Oak Processionary Moth, Oak Ambrosia Beetle, Siberian Silk Moth, Pine Tree Lappet, Variegated Golden Tortrix Moth, Tomato Leaf Miner, Scots Pine Blister Rust, Golden Twinspot Moth, Silver Y Moth, Cucurbit Beetle, Spotted Lanternfly, and Old World Bollworm.
Obtaining A Hemp Flower Grower’s License In Rhode Island
Under federal law, it is illegal to grow hemp flower anywhere in the United States without first obtaining a grower’s license from the appropriate regulatory body for the state in which the interested party intends to plant the crop. For information on the legal status of hemp in Rhode Island, as well as a breakdown of the application process, click here. Read about CBD legality by state.