Hemp shipments in USA should ease later this year

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The movement of hemp and hemp-based products around the United States should be easier soon as a result of recent developments at the federal level.

Individual states in the USA will not be able to block hemp transports through their states after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases hemp production regulations later this year, USDA lawyers recently announced in an advisory opinion.

Meanwhile, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has updated its rules on Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail to clarify that hemp products are legal to mail so long as they adhere to local laws and compliance records are maintained. That includes CBD, as per the USPS update.

States already violating law

At the USDA, lawyers said states that currently ban the transport of legally grown hemp are in violation a 2014 law already on the books, and took issue with a recent case in the state of Idaho in which officials seized 6,700 pounds of hemp.

Under the USDA legal opinion, hemp is no longer a controlled substance at the federal level, and states and Indian tribes are restricted from banning the interstate transport of hemp legally grown under the 2014 Farm Bill.

The update to Postal Service rules came at the urging of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a trade group, which sought clarification of USPS rules regarding hemp in a letter earlier this year. The organization suggested criteria for demonstrating mailings are compliant, including signed statements and test results.

Federal agencies adjusting

The changes at the Postal Service come as federal agencies begin to adjust their policies after passage of last year’s Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released guidance for importing hemp seeds in April; in May the Food and Drug Administration held its first-ever hearing on CBD products.

Private delivery services United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx) have conflicting policies on moving hemp goods. UPS ships hemp-based products including CBD but won’t ship plants, and doesn’t take shipments of hemp products if they come from marijuana vendors. FedEx prohibits shipment of plants, leaves & flowers, hemp oil, hemp seed oil and CBD.

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