Washington, DC – So far ten states have decided that it is preferable to operate 2014 Farm Bill hemp pilot programs including market leaders Colorado and Kentucky. After reviewing the USDA Interim Final Rule (IFR), agriculture departments from Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Vermont and Wisconsin have each notified USDA of their intent to regulate hemp production under provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill.
This news along with thousands of critical comments submitted make a strong case that the rules as written don’t work for farmers. Vote Hemp advocated for a number of critical changes in its response to the IFR including:
– Including sampling Measurement of Uncertainty
– Sampling and homogenizing the entire plant instead of just the top 1/3
– Increasing the sampling to harvest window to 45 days
– Allowing states to oversee disposal of non-compliant plants without CSA regs
– Not requiring DEA registered labs which add to cost & are not authorized in the Farm Bill
– Basing negligent violations on actions and not an arbitrary number such as 0.5% THC
– Applying the felony ban only to license owners
– Urged USDA to issue a revised or new IFR quickly to give states & producers time to adapt
We are hopeful that USDA will listen carefully to the industry and make needed changes to make the program work for producers and to ensure the U.S. hemp industry can successfully compete in the growing world market for hemp products.