The United States is undergoing a hemp revolution, largely driven by the explosion in CBD’s popularity. Industrial hemp is still popular, however, floral hemp has experienced exponential growth in popularity across the country in recent years.
According to Vote Hemp, 511,442 acres of hemp were licensed for cultivation in 2019 in the United States, more than quadrupling the amount of licensed acreage compared to 2018. A limited removal of federal hemp prohibition occurred via the 2014 Farm Bill which allowed states to launch hemp research and/or pilot programs.
Some states took advantage of the public policy change, while others did not.
Hemp policy evolved dramatically after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill which included a provision for hemp legalization nationwide. Since that time it seems as if farmers across the U.S. have scrambled to plant as much hemp as they can in an attempt to cash in on the newly allowed agriculture crop.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has worked towards crafting and adopting rules ever since the 2018 Farm Bill’s passage. The USDA effort passed a major milestone this week, as reported by Marijuana Moment:
The White House approved plans to regulate hemp and its derivatives on Friday, signing off on interim final rules for the crop that were submitted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
USDA has been working to develop hemp regulations since the crop was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill in December. A top official with the department said earlier this month that rules would be released within weeks and, since then, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has finalized its review of the proposal.
The rules are not public yet, however, they are expected to be released for public comment soon. In these truly divisive times, hemp policy is one of the few areas that both major political parties seem to be able to agree on.
The proposed rules are expected to involve THC limit standards, testing protocols, and a range of other regulations that will govern the emerging hemp industry in the United States going forward.