This morning, after being reviewed in the White House last week, the US Department of Agriculture released its long-awaited Interim Final Rule for the US Domestic Hemp Program. This move is one of the final barriers that the USDA must cross in the long journey towards passing this Rule. You can read the full rule here.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable attorneys and policy analysts are carefully reviewing the Rule, and will be participating in a USDA briefing this afternoon, which will yield analysis that will be shared within the next few days. After initial review, the US Hemp Roundtable team is cautiously optimistic about the Rule.
Further, last week, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable Board of Directors held a private meeting with USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach who leads the agency’s hemp efforts and shared with us the broad contours of the regulatory process. Additionally, they also met with USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre, as work continues with the agency on the development of affordable crop insurance products.
The USDA’s intent through the Interim Final Rule is to provide states with flexibility to develop strong hemp programs, strictly consistent with the language of the 2018 Farm Bill. They have been very eager to work with the industry throughout the process and remain very open to our input.