Hemp Legalities Expected to Take Effect in 2020

With federal hemp rules already drafted and submitted to the White House, the public is now waiting for the final approval by 2020 of the first-in-history national laws governing the reproduction and sale of hemp.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture eyes that the approval would coincide with the crop season next year as the hemp industry producers and sellers wait for the ‘final okay.’

The USDA abided by the rules and passed them for reviewing of the Budget and Management Office of the White House, according to a joint statement by the Washington-based attorney Jonathan Havens and National Hemp Association.

The said Budget and Management Office accounts for all adopted and implemented regulations of the administration of the United States. 

Within a few weeks after approving the proposal, the USDA regulations will most likely be released. 

However, Havens pointed out, “Obviously, this is later than USDA’s August publication goal.” 

Last June, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the primary drafter of the proposed regulations for the production of hemp, said that by August 1, USDA would release the final regulations.  

William Richmond, the Specialty Crops Program head in the USDA AMS, expressed his sentiment on delaying a bulk of the proposal for scrutiny.  

AMS is considering the national THC test protocol of the 2018 Farm Bill, which recognizes “using post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods.”

Havens said that it is understandable why USDA struggling with this, the delay would only cause more existing state and province-wide problems.

USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach said to the National Farmers Union, “Making hemp rules are complicated, but we are committed to having a rule out soon.”

IEG Policy, an agribusiness news site, reported that Ibach joked about hemp being the talk-of-the-town that everybody knows and cares.

According to Geoff Whaling, the National Hemp Association chairman, USDA regulations will be temporary for the first year once they are released.

Whaling noted that it would not just allow the states of the country to participate in the crop season in 2020. He said it would also “allow all stakeholders the opportunity to begin to implement the regulations and identify areas that may need small fixes.”

He added that the process was reasonable because if the USDA released permanent regulations, it would be a challenge to amend or change some minor tweaks.

As long as criteria required are met, the Farm Bill mandates that federal authorities are allowed to craft their hemp production regulations and standards.

However, the country-wide guidelines must be released first, and by that time, each state would also need to get the approval of the USDA.