USDA Issues Long-Awaited Hemp Production Regulations

31 October 2019
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Key takeaways:

  • On October 29, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) released draft language of an interim final rule implementing the 2018 Farm Bill’s hemp production provisions.
  • The rule sets standards for hemp production pursuant to both state and tribal government plans and a backstop federal framework. Upon publication of the rule in the Federal Register, USDA will begin to review state and tribal government applications to obtain “primary regulatory authority” over the production of hemp.
  • Although many commentators believed that USDA’s hemp regulations would have a wider scope than the 2018 Farm Bill, the interim final rule instead appears to be confined to practical implementation issues solely with respect to hemp production.