Congress gives hemp farmers last-minute delay on USDA compliance

Hemp farmers stuck in limbo on the rules they’ll have to follow next year have been given a one-year extension to keep growing the crop while regulators hammer out local and federal differences on hemp regulations.

Congress signed off late Wednesday on a stop-gap budget bill that includes a delay on the requirement that all states, tribes and territories comply with hemp rules laid out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The requirement was to take effect Nov. 1.

While some 20 states drafted a plan that’s USDA approved, nearly half of the states are cultivating hemp this year under the less-restrictive 2014 regulations that were grandfathered for a year when the USDA set a national framework last fall. Many of them have yet to see USDA approve their plans for 2021 and beyond.

Had those grandfathered rules expired, hemp farmers in those limbo states would not have been able to legally harvest, process or sell what they grew this year.

That grandfather period was supposed to end on Oct. 31 of this year, which prompted an outcry from industry groups and states who argued the USDA rules are proposing are too restrictive to comply with in time.

In the past two months, industry groups and some states began pressing the federal government to give farmers another year to make sure they’re compliant.

“Hemp farmers across the country will have more certainty tomorrow while states continue their important work to submit final plans to the USDA for approval,” Patrick Atagi of the National Industrial Hemp Council said in a statement.

Hemp states getting another year to work out federal hemp approval include some of the Top 10 producers, including:

  • Arizona.
  • California.
  • Colorado.
  • Kentucky.
  • Michigan.
  • Oregon.



3 comments on “Congress gives hemp farmers last-minute delay on USDA compliance
  1. Pat Jack on

    Throw 20 states under the total THC bus, their hemp farmers and cultivators are now for all intents and purposes locked out of the markets with inferior product because they chose to obey the laws the government put in place. Did we get suckered by the high THCA states and their friends in government?

    Give the states that have already made the most money in the hemp play the go ahead to continue producing “marijuana light”, high THCA hemp and effectively destroy the total THC states.

    Twenty states who’s farmers and cultivators have spent money, time and resources to plan and commit to a total THC compliant crop, they can’t compete with the “old hemp (marijuana light)” states.

    The lesson? The government in collusion with investors, principals and their lobbyists with money generated by capitalizing on D9 only hemp run the game and are willing to destroy the chances of twenty other states, for the benefit of a few.

    Drag your feet, whine and complain and play the lobbyist game, pay the piper, and you get an unfair trade advantage legislated for you by the very body of lawmakers that are sworn to protect the interests of all.

    Divided … we fall, for the special interests of a few, wealthy hemp states’ investors and principals.

    There is no hemp industry, there is only high THCA hemp, and then the total THC states. Divided, we fall.

    The hemp industry is now divided into those pushed to a much higher statistical probability of failure, and those who have already enjoyed the early profits from hemp and CBD and will now have an incredibly powerful unfair trade advantage.

    Disgusting. Disgusting. Disgusting.

    The high THCA hemp states could not be in a better position, the markets are effectively theirs. They win, and win big, especially in the #SmokableHempFlower play. And the total THC states … they are effectively ruined. There will be no “recovery” by the total THC states as the well lined pockets of the high THCA states will steam roll into total THC, steamroll next year over the greatly weakened beginning efforts of those who just wanted to obey the law and grow hemp, be a part of the hemp industry and do it compliantly.

    We wanted a level playing field and instead, the rug is pulled out from under us while our business strategies … burn.

    All hail the victors, forget about the ruined farmers, (and farmers’ families), in the total THC states. The game is rigged? You bet it is. Just hope you bet on the right side.

    A legislated unfair trade advantage for a select group. Trade, (corporate entities), working with government to secure markets while half of the stakeholders are effectively ruined. What is that called? Regulatory capture, some might even call it fascism as it is inarguable that the 20 total THC states are horribly damaged by this. Shameful.

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