Ever because the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December, there has been a surge of interest in hemp and its non-psychoactive derivative cannabidiol (CBD) across the United States.
But amongst all of the buzz surrounding the versatile and potentially-profitable crop, there has also been confusion due to the lack of federal regulations to support guide states in their policy-creating procedure for industrial hemp production.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill instructs the United States Division of Agriculture (USDA) to problem regulations and guidance for industrial hemp production in the United States, no guidelines have been finalized or implemented as of but.
On Tuesday, October 22, Maine Governor Janet Mills and Division of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal penned a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging him to finalize guidelines that outline state guidance for industrial hemp implementation plans.
Noting that the Workplace of Management and Price range (OMB) started reviewing rulemaking for industrial hemp on June 27, Mills and Beal create that states such as Maine can not move forward with guidance for growers till recommendations are in spot and that farmers are unfairly restricted to 2014 Farm Bill guidelines in the meantime.
“Most lately, it has come to our focus that growers in Maine are getting notices of bank account closures and insurance coverage policies not getting renewed due to the fact of uncertainty about federal hemp regulations,” states the letter. “These are troubling developments that stifle the development and aspirations of hardworking farm enterprises.”
In light of the accelerated development of hemp production in Maine and other states, and the confusion about federal laws, Mills and Beal urge Perdue to perform with the OMB to finalize USDA guidance for state implementation plans.