USDA establishes rules and regulations for hemp farmers with new Hemp Production Program

When the 2018 Farm Bill passed last year, it allowed for the legalization of hemp in the United States but with little rules or regulations it created confusion with agencies like the DEA, Custom and Border Protection and banks on how to regulate hemp production. 

Provisions have been put in place following the establishment of the new Hemp Production Program.  

Senator Daines released a statement following the announcement of the program and said "I'm very glad to see Secretary Perdue and the USDA move forward with the creation of the Hemp Production Program which will help provide regulatory certainty for Montana farmers interested in hemp production."

The new provisions for hemp production are: including requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced, testing levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinoil (THC), disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements and licensing requirements.

The new provisions now provide clarity to hemp farmers with what they can and can't do moving forward. 

"The big thing it means for producers in Montana is clarity and certainty moving forward.  We already have a hemp program in Montana now it'll just need to be approved by the federal government and allow producers to be able to continue producing," said Colter Brown of Northern Broadcasting System, "this will give them more clarity and kind of work through some of the patchwork regulations that they've been fighting the past year as kind of an uncertain within the government as to who regulates what with hemp, so big step forward with producers of hemp." 

The new program will help ease regulations for Montana farmers and is one that Senator Jon Tester believes is a step in the right direction for business and job growth for farmers in Montana. 

Senator Tester released a statement saying "This is a win for Montana's farmers, cutting the red tape that's stood in the way of business and job growth.  The new rule means better access to cutting-edge research and new markets for hemp - which our state leads the country in producing - and it means certainty for the folks pioneering a new crop."

The USDA said that later this week an interim final rule formalizing the program will be published in the Federal Registry allowing hemp to be grown under approved plans making producers eligible for agricultural programs.

Producers may apply for a USDA Hemp License thirty days after the rule goes into effect.

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