The new head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave final approval to a federal rule that established the regulations for the hemp industry, despite concerns from advocates about some provisions. Widely considered to be a supporter of the hemp industry, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved the rule after a department review, which started during the presidential transition had been concluded. The rule will come into effect on March 22, 2021.
The head of the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program Bill Richmond stated in an email to stake holders that the final rule had been under additional review by the department as part of the new administration’s transition. Richmond added that the rule would now advance as stipulated in the Federal Register, as it had received approval from Secretary Vilsack.
The Agricultural Marketing Service in the department also released a message stating that the USDA and other agencies had taken the opportunity to review pending and new regulatory actions as part of the new administration’s transition. The statement noted that the routine procedure was done to make sure that new programs as well as those that had already been established were resourced and structured appropriately and that the programs were implemented to best serve their stakeholders.
The USDA had released the rule earlier in January, which came nearly two years after hemp was federally legalized under the Farm Bill 2018. Stakeholders in the industry say that these regulations being approved represent a positive step forward that offer businesses needed guidance. However, they have also indicated some policies that they hope to amend as the crop’s market grows.
With Vilsack’s final seal of approval, the rules will not be subject to further revision ahead of their enactment date. However, stakeholders and advocates have indicated that they will continue to call for changes as the market matures.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable’s general counsel Jonathan Miller stated that the organization was pleased to see the final regulations’ improvements over the provisional final rule, referring to amendments that the department had made after issuing its initial interim regulations. Miller noted that the regulations were much improved, adding that it was clear that the USDA had listened to hemp farmers as well as the industry and paid attention.
However, Miller also observed that there were a few issues that were still pending. Those issues include the Drug Enforcement Administration’s continued involvement in registering laboratories to test hemp. He mentioned that the group was hopeful that these issues could be resolved through legislation in Congress or discussions with the USDA.
Despite the somewhat unfriendly sector regulations, many companies are doing well in the hemp space in and outside the United States. An example is Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF), which has opted to protect its profit margins by carefully selecting the strains from which it manufactures its premium products for the Canadian and international markets.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/PACR
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