Hemp Regulations Will Be Issued Within Weeks, Top USDA Official Says

Hemp Regulations Will Be Issued Within Weeks, Top USDA Official Says

A top U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) official says that the department expects to release an interim final rule on hemp regulations within “the next couple of weeks.” During a hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) told USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky that there’s been a “big rise in interest” in hemp among farmers in her state since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized the crop and its derivatives. “States are currently working their way through the rulemaking process, but they do need guidance,” she said. The senator asked if Censky could provide a timeline for the release of federal hemp regulations. “We would expect to be issuing the interim final rule here within the next couple of weeks,” he said. “We have been in the interagency clearance process now for over 90 days, working with some of our federal colleagues through the [White House Office of Management and Budget] process to get input for there.” They need some guidance on how best to do so. That’s why I asked Deputy Secretary of @USDA about the timeline for rolling out the National Hemp Program. pic.twitter.com/h2CpGucgFF — Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) October 21, 2019 “I think we’re nearing—just about at the end of that process,” he said. The Justice Department ’s Office of Legal Policy has also been involved in reviewing the proposed regulations, a USDA official said at an event in September. The department previously indicated that it would release the regulations in August, but that timeline has shifted, with officials recently stating that they’d be issued this fall, prior to the 2020 planting season. In his opening testimony, Censky discussed the progress USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has made on hemp. He said that AMS “has been working aggressively to…

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Source : MJ moment
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