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2018 Firm Bill Summary: Updates to Hemp Farmers and Hemp Industry

Various changes were established by the 2018 Farm Bill regarding hemp farming. The bill caused various updates, changes, or removal of some of the rules, regulations, and laws governing hemp farming. It is necessary for you to be aware of what has changed so that you can be in the light concerning hemp farming.

The 2014 Farm Bill allowed higher education institutions and state agricultural departments, when permitted by the states, to grow hemp, with the condition of following the definition of industrial hemp. The industrial hemp was defined as being 0.3% of THC content. Hemp was classified as cannabis, and the rules were put in place so that people will not grow hemp in their farms without the necessary licensing.

The 2018 Farm Bill changed many of the classifications and rules from the previous bill. The new bill longer classifies hemp as a controlled substance, but instead as an agricultural commodity. Hemp is also now covered under crop insurance, and one can get a policy to cover hemp from the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. With the allowance to grow hemp, there are rules for quality and cultivation, and even penalties for people who break the rules and repeat offenders. Among the provisions include those concerning the requirement for a permit to grow hemp, and it should have no more than 0.3% THC content. The bill also has various guidelines for state regulation and what one needs to do to submit reports to the secretary of agriculture.

The bill has seen a significant rise in the production of hemp. Since the bill took effect, there has been a steady growth in the production of hemp. The estimated rise in hemp acreage has gone from 9800 in 2016 to 78,000 in 2018.

Hemp imports have been reduced after the 2018 farm bill came into effect. There has been a reduction in hemp imports from $80 million in 2015 to under $70 million in 2017. Most of the imports were hemp seeds and a majority of the supplies were from Canada.

The USDA is setting out to develop rules based on the 2018 farm bill, dubbed the Hemp Production Program. The program aims to update the rules and regulations from a section of the 2014 bill. The USDA expects farmers and growers to follow the rules of the 2014 bill until the new ones are applicable by the end of 2019. The USDA expects citizens to delay the implementation of the 2018 bill until the new rules and regulations are in place.

The delay has caused a challenge to many farmers because they now cannot legally grow hemp under the 2014 bill. The crop is also not insurable at the time since crop insurance rules are yet to adapt to hemp growing and offer regulations under the 2018 bill.

You can grow hemp following the 2014 regulations, as you wait for the new roles to be in effect and so that you can have insurance. Ensure that you follow every rule so that you do not end up in problems.

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