The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which was given federal regulatory authority over hemp by the 2018 Farm Bill, announced last week that it won’t be finalizing its hemp rules in time for the 2019 growing season, and instead is targeting the 2020 season. But many states are driving hard to develop their own regulatory plans in time for their farmers to plant this year.
Those states’ efforts were given a boost by the American Hemp Campaign (AHC), who released its model hemp production plan around the same time the USDA made its announcement. The AHC’s model plan is designed to help state officials develop their own regulations more quickly by providing basic policy considerations and a framework for regulating cultivation.
Time is of the essence, as many states have March deadlines for hemp growers to submit license requests, and Mother Nature’s own unappealable deadline for planting gets inexorably closer.