View Full Version : Do you need a licence to grow tobacco?

06-12-2000, 03:34 PM
This comes from another thread, on marijuana:

Anybody with a windowbox and some topsoil can grow it. Heck, you could grow it in a lot of places just by throwing seeds on the ground. How do you tax something like that?

I've never tried to grow tobacco, so I don't know how hard it is, but can't you make the same argument for tobacco?

I think it *is* illegal to grow tobacco without a licence. Can anyone back me up on that?

I know it is illegal to make hard liquor without a licence, or make guns, or even drive a cab (I don't mean a driver's licence either. What do they call them -- pendants or something?).

Ellen Cherry
06-12-2000, 03:47 PM
Hm, you don't need a license. However, here in Kentucky you can only grow a specific amount of tobacco which is predetermined by a complex formula, which is called a "base." Most farms have a certain tobacco "base." You can sell this base if you don't want to grow the tobacco; hence, whomever you sell it to can grow more than the base allotted for his farm.

Otherwise, yes, you can just toss down seeds and grow it, although it's a little harder than that.

06-12-2000, 04:33 PM
OK, thanks. Probably be heck to grow in northeast Mass. then ;)! If I grew it indoors, dang if the storm troopers wouldn't be busting down my door when they picked up the grow light on the infrared or saw my watt usage peaking. Sorry about shooting you in the head -- we thought you were growing weed!

06-12-2000, 05:06 PM
I don't want to derail this thread, but in answer to jmullaney's Q about taxis, you're confusing a "hack license" and a "medallion" (not pendant). The license goes to the driver, the medallion goes to the vehicle (that is, it's owner). At least that's the set-up here in NYC.

No one cares how many hack licenses there are (a fact that's pretty apparent when you see who's got them). But they do care about how many cabs are on the road, so they limit the number of medallions.

And a medallion really is a medallion -- it's this pancake-sized plastic-looking plate with raised lettering and graphics that's bolted to the hood of the cab for all the world (and the T&LC inspectors) to see.

Back in my not-so-glorious youth I seem to remember them being very impressive: somber and official-looking and made of metal -- like a big bronze Olympic medal. Then the "Big Apple" craze hit in the 70's or 80's, and they were changed to gaudy red, apple-shaped plastic slabs. The apple phase passed, but it was too late too go back; today's version is more subtle, but still tacky.

Now, back to tobacco...

Ellen Cherry
06-12-2000, 05:26 PM
Jmullaney, here's more than you ever probably wanted to know about growing tobacco! As I said, it' more complicated than even just growing your base (which is actually how much you're allowed to sell, not just grow but: same dif.)

Burley Tobacco Grower's Cooperative (http://www.burleytobacco.com/page3.html). This page talks about the pool and what that is, but you can click around the site and see if there's more about restrictions on growing (I didn't look). There's a page also explaining the tobacco settlement (from the tobacco growers' point of view, of course!)

Hope that helps! :)

06-12-2000, 05:52 PM
As far as I know, you can grow as much tobacco as you want. It's only if you try to sell the tobacco that you'll be regulated. You might be surprised to learn that a fair amount of tobacco is grown in Massachusetts, mostly cigar wrappers (and some cigar filler leaf) grown in the Connecticut River valley. Guerney's seed catalog (http://www.gurneys.com/) sells tobacco seeds.

06-12-2000, 10:02 PM
I have both a license to manufacture and a license to sell firearms, and they were shockingly easy to get. I was stunned when the notorious BATF sent me my licenses to do so. I just filled out the application and sent in the fee($90 for 3 years) and boom, there was the licenses. This is the same agency that regulates tobacco (a less harmful substance when compared to a gun)so how hard could it be to get a license to grow tobacco?

06-12-2000, 10:42 PM

This link will tell you a little more. My memory of my grandfather's tobacco allotment and now my reading of this page says that you don't need a "license" to grow tobacco, just an allotment or the rights to somebody's elses' rights.

And it's getting smaller every day. Always was, if I remember conversations from the '60's.

06-12-2000, 10:46 PM

Sorry about the link above