USDA Releases Draft of Proposed Hemp Regulations
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released its interim rules for the regulation of hemp. The draft rules are designed to fulfill the agency’s responsibility under the 2018 Farm Bill to establish a domestic hemp program. Per the USDA’s document,
This interim rule will help expand production and sales of domestic hemp, benefiting both U.S. producers and consumers. With the publication of the interim rule, USDA will begin to implement the hemp program including reviewing State and Tribal plans and issuing licenses under the USDA hemp plan.
You can read the full document (161 pages) here. I’ll write more about the rules once I have had a chance to study them more carefully. I think it safe to say, however, that states will soon be able to have their State Plans for the regulation of hemp approved by the USDA (something that hasn’t happened yet, because the USDA has taken so long to write its own rules). In turn, such approval should enable state-licensed producers to take advantage of all of the legal protections afforded by the 2018 Farm Bill.
For more on the 2018 Farm Bill and some of the controversies that have arisen under it in the absence of state-approved hemp plans, see these earlier posts: