USDA Receives Hemp Legalization Feedback From States And Stakeholders
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave stakeholders in the nation’s hemp economy an opportunity to provide input on rules to legally regulate the crop that are currently being developed.
Hemp, which was federally legalized as part of the 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Trump in December, had previously been restricted by the Justice Department as a controlled substance. Now USDA has primary responsibility for overseeing legal cultivation of marijuana’s non-psychoactive cannabis cousin.
But the agency is still in the process of establishing a set of regulations covering areas such as land use, certification, product testing and disposal of hemp containing excess THC. After those federal rules are in place, USDA will begin reviewing proposed hemp plans submitted by state agriculture departments.
Officials from at least seven state governments and a number of Indian tribes gave testimony during the roughly three-hour online feedback session, which was occasionally interrupted by technical difficulties, as did several hemp industry operators.