USDA Announces Establishment Of Domestic Hemp Production Program

United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill, to create a consistent nationwide regulatory framework for hemp production.

An interim final rule to formalize the program will be published later this week in the Federal Register permitting hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and allowing hemp producers to participate in various agricultural programs.

Also included in the rule are provisions for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve state and Native American tribe plans for hemp production.

Among the provisions is the maintenance of information about the land where hemp is produced, testing levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), disposal of plants that fail to meet required standards, and licensing requirements.

The rule also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states and on tribal land where there is no approved hemp production plan.

“At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” said Secretary Purdue. “We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”

Once the interim final rule is published in the Federal Register and becomes effective, USDA will be inviting the public to comment on it.

After state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be able to participate in various USDA programs and be eligible for insurance coverage through the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program.