Last Tuesday, October 29th, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. After a long wait since the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp farmers across the nation finally have a more consistent regulatory framework for growing, processing, transporting, and selling hemp.
U.S Secretary of Agriculture stated in an interview, “At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets...We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”
The interim rule to be finalized in the Federal Register later this week, includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of THC; disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; transportation and licensing requirements. It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan. A preview of the rule has already posted on USDA’s website.
Additionally, the USDA has also developed guidelines to be released concurrently, which provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories.
Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. For information on available programs, visit farmers.gov/hemp.