USDA Releases Final Rule For Hemp, Two Years After Crop Was Federally Legalized

MJ moment

The USDA on Friday announced that it has finalized federal regulations for hemp. This comes about two years after the crop was federally legalized through the 2018 Farm Bill, which required USDA to develop rules for an industrial hemp program. Since then, the department has released various proposals, solicited public input and included hemp in several government programs such as those allowing for crop insurance. The new final rule is set to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday and will take effect on March 22. With the publication of the final rule, the USDA provides the definitive regulatory framework for hemp production throughout the United States: — USDA Ag Mktg Service (@USDA_AMS) January 15, 2021 “With the publication of this final rule, USDA brings to a close a full and transparent rule-making process that started with a hemp listening session in March 2019,” USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach said in a press release. Early versions of the agency’s proposed regulations were met with mixed reviews from industry stakeholders. While many appreciated USDA’s efforts to stand up the market, there was widespread criticism from businesses and lawmakers over certain provisions viewed as excessively restrictive such as testing requirements and THC limits. In response to that feedback, USDA made temporary revisions and reopened comment periods for additional input. The final rule doesn’t include everything stakeholders sought, but there were some modifications made throughout the process. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has said that the agency’s hands were tied in part due to statutory obligations, and he also noted pushback from the Drug Enforcement Administration as they created regulations for the market. “USDA staff have taken the information you have provided through three comment periods and from your experiences over a growing season to develop regulations…

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Source : USDA Releases Final Rule For Hemp, Two Years After Crop Was Federally Legalized

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