USDA Approves Texas, Delaware and Nebraska Hemp Plans

On Monday, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that it had approved hemp regulatory plans for three more states and four Indian tribes.

Since hemp production was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, the USDA has approved the production of hemp and its derivatives for three states and three Indian Tribes. The three additional states whose hemp regulatory plans have now been approved are Texas, Nebraska, and Delaware while the Indian tribes include Colorado River Indian Tribe, the Fort Belknap Indian Community, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and the Yurok Tribe.

The USDA issued a notice saying that more states and Indian Tribes are still submitting the hemp production plans and that they are reviewing them. The department further noted that previously, it approved hemp production plans for the state of Louisiana, New Jersey, and Ohio as well as the Flandreau Santee Sioux, Santa Rosa Cahuilla, and La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian Tribes.

Although hemp is not classified under Schedule 1 of controlled substances, farmers who are looking to grow the crop must do so in states that have an approved regulatory scheme. The provision was included in the interim final rules that were published by the USDA last year. The law states in jurisdictions (states and tribes) that do not have a hemp plan or hemp regulations, cultivators can instead apply for USDA permits.

The Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said that the approval of the hemp regulatory plan is a victory for Texas farmers. He also noted that they are one step closer to bringing a new exciting crop full of opportunity to Texans.

Miller further said that they were waiting for their rules to be approved so that that they can start issuing licenses to farmers who want to begin hemp production. However, the dominoes are dropping very quickly.

Speaking to Marijuana Moment, the director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, Heather Fazio said that the state could become the largest supplier of hemp in the U.S., which will provide the farmers with unsurmountable economic as well as job opportunities.

The  hemp rules released by the USDA have been the subject of a significant amount of criticism due to THC limit and laboratory testing facilities requirements despite the overwhelming support from legislators and industry stakeholders for the USDA’s commitment to hemp legalization. The public comment duration on the interim rules ends on Jan. 30, 2020.

The status of the state and tribal hemp plans are tracked using the USDA website.

The announcement which was made confirmed the extent of federal support to the hemp sector. The federal government wants to ensure that farmers are equipped with all the resources required to help their businesses thrive.

The farmers in Texas are hoping to take advantage of the booming CBD market, but CBD market is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration which is yet to pass comprehensive regulations for the sector.

At the beginning of January, a bipartisan coalition filed a bill in Congress urging the FDA to allow CBD products to be sold as dietary supplements.

Industry watchers believe that hemp industry players like No Borders Inc. (OTC: NBDR) are hoping that Congress forces the hand of the FDA so that the hemp industry can soar higher.

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