- The USDA has announced new and expanded insurance options that are being offered to hemp farmers and businesses.
- A pilot program, named Multi-Peril Crop Insurance, is being expanded to counties in Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, and Texas.
- An agency is the USDA is also passing “additional flexibility” to accommodate loss due to the pandemic.
“Hemp offers exciting economic opportunities for our nation’s farmers, and we are listening and responding to their risk management needs.”
These are the words of Martin Barbre, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). And he’s speaking about the additional insurance options that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering farmers.
Through a pilot program named the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance plan (MPCI), hemp farmers will have access to more coverage options to protect their crops for the 2021 growing seasons. The USDA also expanded upon coverage plans that are already in place.
The announcement was made on Monday, and included the expansion of the MPCI program to counties in Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, and Texas. It also extended on existing coverage for 13 counties.
RMA is also passing “additional flexibilities” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes going through Approved Insurance Providers in order to process claims, policies, and agreements. The USDA has a coronavirus website dedicated to providing farmers with information about acquiring crop insurance online.
Until this year, many in the hemp industry could not receive federal crop insurance. Luckily these new options will help create more of a safety new for hemp farmers and businesses. And after a 2020 that was accommodated with massive wildfires, an economic crisis, and lack of progress toward federal regulation, a safety net is much welcomed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that research on CBD and other cannabinoids is a priority for the agency. If significant progress can be made in 2021, you can expect permanent regulations to begin being drafted.