New federal hemp-growing rules under review
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New federal hemp-growing rules under review

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SPARKS – The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service recently released an interim final rule regarding the establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program. The Nevada Department of Agriculture encourages anyone who may be impacted by the interim rules — particularly existing and interested hemp growers — to review and submit comments.

The rule, mandated by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill), outlines provisions for the USDA to approve plans submitted by state departments of agriculture and Indian Tribes for the domestic production of hemp.

Hemp production is regulated to ensure delta-9 tetrahydrocanabinol (THC) levels fall within the definition of hemp and not marijuana, which requires the crop to be registered and tested. The interim rule includes provisions for registering crop production locations, licensing eligibility, testing criteria for measuring THC, and crop disposal if THC levels exceed legal requirements, among other compliance requirements that may affect Nevada hemp growers.

“We encourage all Nevada hemp growers and those who are interested in growing hemp to read the proposed rule and submit comments during this open comment period,” Ashley Jeppson, Plant Industry division administrator for the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said.

These rules will guide future laws, and it is important Nevadans express impacts that these rules will have on the hemp industry, stated the department.

The NDA has had an active hemp program since 2017. It began with 26 growers as a research and development program under the 2014 Farm Bill and has since grown to more than 215 growers.

The comment period ends Dec. 31. Comments should be submitted via the federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov

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