Farm Credit Administration to issue guidance on hemp financial services

Hemp businesses could know as soon as next week which financial institutions they can approach for credit and lending help.

The U.S. Farm Credit Administration (FCA) chairman and CEO Dallas Tonsager says that the agency will advise its 69 regional institutions on lending to hemp producers, Agri-Pulse reported.

Tonsager said Tuesday that lenders will need to “be cognizant that it’s a market with extreme interest and make sure you understand that market.”

The FCA was one of four agencies that received a letter from Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Ron Wyden of Oregon asking them to open financial services to the hemp industry without discrimination, now that the 2018 Farm Bill has legalized hemp cultivation.

During a House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on Tuesday, Tonsager was asked why the FCA would be making loans for hemp, considering the current lack of regulation for CBD, one of the crop’s largest products.

Tonsager answered that the FCA’s affiliated associations “will have to evaluate the risk for themselves.”

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set a date for the first public hearing on CBD for May 31, beginning a process that the outgoing FDA commissioner said could take years to establish regulation for CBD in food and dietary supplements.