A clearer future is coming into focus for U.S. hemp as plans to regulate the crop were approved by the White House last week. The Office of Management and Budget signed off on proposed interim U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules for hemp and its derivatives on Friday.
U.S. states must send their local plans to the USDA for approval. The new rules, made public today, now give them clear guidance to do so. USDA officials had said they would issue the rules ahead of the 2020 planting season.
The development marks a major milestone in the USDA process to set hemp regulations after legalization of hemp growing and processing brought by last December’s signing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The plan is expected to clarify a wide range of hemp policies guiding THC potency testing, quality control, processing requirements, and interstate transportation of biomass. USDA has already set policies governing the import and export of hemp seeds and plants. It also last August declared hemp producers operating under the 2014 Farm Bill eligible for federal crop insurance.