US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, has announced the establishment of the US Domestic Hemp Production Program.
This programme, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around domestic hemp production throughout the United States.
Secretary Perdue said: “At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets.
“We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”
Hemp production programme
Later this week, an interim final rule formalising the programme will be published in the Federal Register that will allow hemp to be grown under federally approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs.
The rule includes provisions for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements.
It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.
The interim final rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Following publication, USDA invites public comment on the interim rule and the information collection burden.
USDA also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures that are being issued concurrently with this rule. These documents provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories.
Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programmes, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection.
For information on the Domestic Hemp Production Program, visit farmers.gov/hemp.