USDA to Review, Not Hold Nationwide Hemp Rules

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  • The USDA has announced that they will review the national hemp rules set by the previous administration; however, they are not expected to hold, or delay them.
  • A spokesman for the USDA stated in an email that there were no “rules to point to at this time that are on hold.”
  • Members of the hemp community are also hoping the USDA allows an additional 30-day period for public comment on the new hemp rules.

During the last days of the Trump administration’s time in office, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a set of nationwide hemp rules. And now as a new president is being settled into office, those in the hemp industry feared that the new rules would be put on hold, furthering the confusion and constant delay that is present among the industry.

However, hemp producers have nothing to fear as the USDA announced it will simply be reviewing the rules, not putting them on hold. This is a fairly common practice for the USDA whenever there is a big change in office, such as a new president.

Matt Herrick, spokesman for the USDA, said in an email:

“We have no specific programs or rules to point to at this time that are on hold, but it’s proper for a new administration to have adequate time to review existing programs as well as those implemented by the previous administration in the final days of their tenure.”

Herrick made no mention of whether or not hemp producers should expect the USDA to once again open the hemp rules for public comment, but hemp activists and industry leaders find it necessary in order to perfect the young system.

The rules that were published on Tuesday will not go into effect until March. Until then, federal agencies have been urged by the White House to consider additional 30-day periods for public comment on new rules. Hemp and the USDA fall under this category.

If the USDA allows for this additional comment period, then the feedback could help create consistent rules, better growing practices, and higher-quality CBD products.

If the USDA doesn’t allow for public comment, then the hemp rules are likely to remain the same as they are now; a decision that wouldn’t necessarily harm hemp farmers. Luckily, the USDA has made 2021 a less-frightening year for hemp farmers by including them in financial aid packages and loosening their THC testing regulations.

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