USDA approves hemp plan, state to open apps on Monday
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have approved the state plan to regulate hemp production and will issue licenses to grow and process hemp in 2020, announced officials on Tuesday.
Delaware, Nebraska and Texas join the initial state plans approved late last year along with those of Louisiana, New Jersey and Ohio.
In addition to the states, a number of Indian tribes have also had their plans approved:
- Colorado River Indian Tribes
- Fort Belknap Indian Community
- Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
- Yurok Tribe
- Flandreau Santee Sioux
- La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians
- Santa Rosa Band of the Cahuilla Indians
New states and additional tribes still to appear on the page Status of tribal hemp production plans at the time of writing.
Le Farm Bill of 2018 entrusted the USDA with the task of developing a regulatory hemp monitoring program and approving plans submitted by states and tribes. In late October of last year, the USDA released the final rule establishing the US domestic hemp production program. On December 20, 2019, the NDA submitted the Nebraska State Hemp Plan for approval to the USDA. On January 28, 2020, the NDA was informed that the state hemp plan had been approved by the USDA. To view the finalized plan as approved by the USDA, cliquhere
Among the common themes are requests that the 0,3% THC limit be increased to 1%. Many are also concerned about the requirement to harvest within 15 days of collecting samples for testing. Some stakeholders believe that this does not leave enough time when the weather conditions are bad. USDA reasoning is that allowing longer production would result in harvests above the THC limit at harvest.
The THC limit is certainly delicate, but it's not as if raising it to 1% would allow crops to be used for recreational purposes, much too low to have an intoxicating effect. The 0,3% limit in Arizona would have resulted in 41% of the state's hemp plants being tested and controlled.
The State Department of Agriculture will open the licensing process on Monday. The licenses will include "commercial cultivation, processing, handling and brokerage of industrial hemp," according to a statement from department director Steve Wellman.
Nebraska submitted its draft regulations at the USDA on December 20. Documents show that the regulations were revised on January 15 before the federal government approved Tuesday. License applications for 2020 will be on the NDA website on Monday, February 3.