USDA releases draft hemp rules

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A small hemp plant growing at the 2019 Farm Science Review.
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

SALEM, Ohio — The U.S. Department of Agriculture officially announced the launch of the federal hemp program, with the release of the program’s first draft of regulations Oct. 28.

The next step is publication in the Federal Register. Once it is published, a public comment period will open on the program rules.

The draft includes provisions for the USDA to approve state plans for hemp production. It also creates a federal plan for hemp farmers in states that do not have a USDA-approved plan.

The USDA also updated its hemp website Oct. 29 with answers to commonly asked questions about the program and forms. It said it would accept plans from states as soon as the rules are published in the Federal Register. No date has been set.

For more information and to view the draft rule, visit www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp.

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