USDA extends public comment period for hemp interim final rule by 30 days

Federal agriculture officials are giving the hemp industry more time to provide feedback on new nationwide production rules.

After requests from state officials and members of the U.S. Congress seeking additional time for public feedback, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Tuesday it will extend the comment period on the U.S. Hemp Production Program interim final rule until Jan. 29, 2020.

The interim final rule originally established a 60-day comment period that would close Dec. 30, 2019. The extension provides an additional 30 days.

Recent requests from U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, and state departments of agriculture urged the USDA to extend the comment period to allow more time for hemp industry members to analyze the rules, determine how they would affect their operations and submit real-world feedback that could help inform changes to federal hemp production rules.

Comments on the interim final rule can be submitted via:

  • The website.
  • Fax: 202-720-8938.
  • Mail: Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS; USDA; 1400 Independence Ave. SW, STOP 0237; Washington, DC 20250-0237.

Comments must be received by Jan. 29 to be considered before a final rule is issued.