State ag departments, industry advocates ask USDA to delay new regulations

The National Industrial Hemp Council and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture say “many states will be unable to meet” the Oct. 31 deadline to switch to new rules for hemp production.

In a letter to Congress this week, the organizations asked that implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interim final rule, which was published for review on October 2019, be delayed for another year. The groups also wrote to the USDA.

Some states were able to transition from their 2014 hemp pilot program to a USDA state approved plan to align with the new regulations that start Nov. 1, but other states that haven’t done so yet, the letter said.

“These states have cited that due to the unprecedented national COVID-19 pandemic, state regulators have been unable to work with their state legislatures to acquire necessary statutory amendments,” reads the letter signed by the leaders of NIHC and NASDA, which asks that the deadline be extended through fiscal year 2021.

At least 20 states, including Oregon, are still operating under the 2014 Farm Bill provisions, which established a pilot hemp program.

The hemp industry and state officials have raised a range of concerns they say still need to be addressed. Among those are:

  • The USDA’s requirement to use only DEA-registered labs to test hemp plants.
  • More disposal options for non-compliant crops.
  • Requiring growers to test plants within 15 days of anticipated harvest.
One comment on “State ag departments, industry advocates ask USDA to delay new regulations
  1. Pat Jack on

    My clients, BLACK FARMERS HEMP RESEARCH & TRAINING LLC in Lafayette, Louisiana have selected total THC compliant, 30:1 CBD:THC ratio, terpene rich seed genetics and have already germinated and are well into late seedling growth.

    My client should be REWARDED for going total THC rather than thrown under the D9 pilot exemption states which have already profited handsomely from marijuana light, D9 ONLY high THCA strains.

    Lorenda Hartwell in Georgia, my consultancy client, has pulled the first commercial crop of hemp out of a greenhouse that is TOTAL THC COMPLIANT and will take down 100 pounds of THM CBD and CBG genetics in two weeks that are TOTAL THC COMPLIANT and has another greenhouse with plants starting the veg cycle that will be terpene rich, smokable heavenly total THC compliant product. Black Farmers Hemp and Hartwell Hemp have towed the line, and they are succeeding. They can’t compete with “marijuana light” from the already strong D9 states especially at the processors loading dock with 9% CBD by dry weight.

    REWARD the business that has made capital investments and designed SOP to meet the total THC requirements, don’t lock them out of the market in favor of D9 only, marijuana light states.

    A level playing field and social equity, or destruction for the USDA state plan states, and states with state laws that require total THC compliance.

    Don’t ruin the newbies in favor of what one might believe is the backbone of a brand new industry. There is no backbone, only a level playing field which will be destroyed by raising the total THC compliance requirement.

    I strongly object.

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