Biden’s USDA Secretary Gives Final Approval To Hemp Rules Despite Ongoing Industry Concerns

MJ moment

The newly confirmed head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given final approval to a federal rule laying out regulations for the hemp industry, despite outstanding concerns from advocates about certain provisions. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who is widely considered an ally of the hemp industry, signed off on the rule following a departmental review that began during the presidential transition. It will take effect on March 22, as originally planned. “As part of the transition to the new Administration, the final rule was under additional review by the Department,” Bill Richmond, head of USDA’s Domestic Hemp Production Program, wrote in an email to stakeholders on Monday. “The rule has now been cleared by Secretary Vilsack to move forward as published in the Federal Register.” USDA released the final rule in January—about two years after the crop was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. Industry stakeholders say the enactment of these regulations generally represents a positive step forward that will provide businesses with needed guidance, but they’ve also pointed to a number of policies that they hope to revise as the market matures such as USDA’s hemp testing requirements. With this final authorization by Vilsack, the regulations won’t be subject to further revision ahead of the effective date. However, advocates and stakeholders say they will continue to push for changes as the market evolves. “We were very pleased to see the final rule improvements over the interim final rule,” Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, told Marijuana Moment, referring to revisions that the department made after releasing its initial proposed regulations. “It’s a much-improved document. It was very clear that the USDA listened to the industry and to hemp farmers and took heed.” “There are a few issues still remaining, including the continued involvement…

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Source : Biden’s USDA Secretary Gives Final Approval To Hemp Rules Despite Ongoing Industry Concerns

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