Lobby group seeks USDA changes on hemp assistance

Citing a precipitous downturn in hemp commodity prices, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable has written to federal agriculture authorities seeking a change to agency rules on getting coronavirus pandemic-related assistance.

The lobbying group says that hemp is too new of a commodity to have widely published pricing data, making it problematic for hemp farmers to comply with requirements to prove 5% losses in order to receive pandemic assistance aimed at suffering farmers and ranchers.

The group cites “clear data” from two hemp pricing and tracking agencies – Hemp Benchmarks and PanXchange – suggesting steep downturns in hemp flower and biomass prices during the period of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revise its list of commodities  eligible for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to include hemp.