The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that it will complete the federal rules governing domestic hemp production by August. The website Hemp Industry Daily Dot Com says the agency had previously said in February that it wouldn’t release the final rules until the 2020 growing season. However, states and Native American tribes began to submit their hemp production plans for the USDA to review starting the day after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed. Under the bill, states and tribes can run hemp oversight themselves, but they have to submit their plans for that oversight to USDA, which has up to 60 days to respond. States that don’t submit a plan will be subject to the still-unwritten federal regulations. Even in states that said they planned to wait for federal guidance, many hemp bills have moved forward in their legislatures, allowing farmers to participate in the 2019 growing season under the rules in the 2014 Farm Bill. The USDA is also providing new assistance to the hemp industry, including advising the industry on properly importing hempseed into the U.S.
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