The U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program has officially been developed and will be the regulatory framework that American hemp production will be based upon. The interim final rule will formalize the program later this week after being published in the Federal Register.
“We said we’d get it done in time for producers to make planting decisions for 2020 and we followed through,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a video announcement. “USDA has also worked to provide licensed growers access to loans and risk management products available for other crops.”
During a phone call with reporters, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach said that states that already have some form of regulation for hemp production may need to make revisions. “States hopefully have taken this opportunity, and will take the opportunity to review their plans against the USDA’s rules and regulations and make any adjustments they need to.”
The interim rule will go into effect after it is published in the Federal Register and USDA is inviting public comment on the rule and the information collection burden. Hemp producers will be eligible for a variety of USDA programs once state and tribal plans are officially put into place and conform to the federal guidelines.
“This rule enables USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Risk Management Agency, to determine for farmers who want to grow hemp their eligibility for various USDA programs, including loans, crop insurance, disaster assistance, and conservation programs,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.
As part of the rule, USDA has also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures with additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories being issued. More information about the Domestic Hemp Production Program is available through the Agricultural Marketing Service website.