UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 7: Hemp flower on display at the Tennessee Grown booth at the Southern … [+] Hemp Expo at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Park in Franklin, TN on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program this week, a program that creates a regulatory framework around the production of hemp in the United States. The program was required by the 2018 Farm Bill.
“At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” said Secretary Perdue. “We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”
Later this week an interim final rule formalizing the program will be published in the Federal Register. Once published, it will allow help to be grown under federally-approved plans and allow hemp producers to be eligible for a number of federal agriculture programs that they currently are not.
The program also allows the federal government to maintain information on where help is being produced and set requirements on the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol; disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements.
The USDA published a draft of the final rule on its website that you can check out here. Additionally, it also developed federal guidelines for sampling and testing procedures which it is issuing along with the rule.
The new program makes it officially legal to grow hemp as a crop in all 50 states as well as on reservations.
The hemp market has exploded in the United States in recent years, in part thanks to the popularization of CBD, which is being used for everything from relieving pain and anxiety to helping to treat epilepsy.
Sales of CBD products are expected to exceed $20 billion In the United States by 2024, according to BDS analytics.
“We’re witnessing CBD maturing from a cannabis sub-category into a full-blown industry of its own,” said Roy Bingham, Co-Founder and CEO of BDS Analytics. “Our growth forecast for the CBD market, across all distribution channels, predicts a compound annual growth rate of 49 percent by 2024. This is a great opportunity for all involved, but it means the road ahead will include decisions that need to be informed by the best possible data.”