Federal Agencies Must Get On The Same Page With Hemp Rules, Lawmakers Say

MJ moment

Four members of Congress representing Minnesota are urging federal regulatory agencies to streamline hemp and CBD rules that they say are “inconsistent” and cause headaches—and potential criminal liabilities—for farmers and entrepreneurs trying to succeed in the fledgling industry. In a letter to four top government officials, the lawmakers—Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Collin Peterson (D-MN)—wrote that their agencies “need to work together and issue federal guidelines that will benefit farmers rather than punish farmers for factors that are out of their control.” Each of the agencies the—U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB)—plays some role in regulating hemp and its various derivative products, and the letter says their rules conflict in ways that have chilled the market. “Currently, contradictory federal guidelines are leading to uncertainty in the market,” Smith’s office said in a statement, “and preventing Minnesota farmers and Tribes from fully reaping the economic benefits of growing hemp.” The letter, sent last week, says the conflicting rules have “resulted in fewer hemp acres in Minnesota being planted from 2019 to 2020.” While the number of licensed growers increased from four to 467 over that period, the number of acres planted in hemp dropped from 7,353 to 5,809. “Lack of clarity has resulted in under-investments in growing and processing from banks and hemp production companies,” it adds, calling on the agencies to work together “to create a more stable market for hemp farmers and ease the concerns of investors.” As the letter explains, various rules issued by the agencies since Congress legalized hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill sometimes seem to conflict with one another, creating confusion for companies trying to comply—as well as for peripheral businesses that…

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Source : Federal Agencies Must Get On The Same Page With Hemp Rules, Lawmakers Say

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