Farmers, officials warn of draconian rules at USDA

Farmers, officials warn of draconian rules at USDA

The most recent set of rules from a federal agency has led to mixed outcomes for a range of cannabis businesses, and some reports show canna-businesses across the U.S. have some new complaints.

New guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was published in October 2019, and at the time the Nothing But Hemp blog reported enthusiastically about new possibilities for cannabis business loans and banking approvals.

However, chinks have been revealed as the plan has been implemented.

According to ABC News, rapid and expansive growth within the market for industrial hemp agriculture and CBD manufacture has reeled at the testing requirements included in the USDA plan. [1]

Industrial hemp contains trace levels of THC, the active ingredient of marijuana that remains a scheduled substance with the Drug Enforcement Agency and other federal bodies.

The USDA policy, however, sets a markedly low barrier beyond which THC contents will result in negative outcomes for hemp farmers.

“There are 46 states where hemp is legal, and I’m going to say that every single state has raised concerns to us about something within the rule. They might be coming from different perspectives, but every state has raised concerns,” Aline DeLucia, director of public policy for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, told ABC News. [1]

Any crops above a certain level will be seized or destroyed, and legal problems have been extremely counterintuitive to the flourishing of the hemp economy.

Hemp is most popular to make CBD products, which people love for their chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and other uses. Testimonials show many have found relief without the mind altering high while using CBD, though the science needs more time to develop.

“Their business is to support farmers — and not punish farmers — and the rules as they're written right now punish farmers,” Oregon Hemp Farmer Dove Oldham told ABC News.

“There's just a lot of confusion, and people are just looking for leadership.” [1]

Similar problems have emerged in Minnesota.

“It concerns me that there are parts of the interim rule that would make implementation of the hemp program extremely difficult in our state,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. [2]