Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) put out a notice seeking approval from the White House to carry out a survey. The agency plans to partner with the University of Kentucky to conduct this follow-up to the first hemp survey released earlier this year on Feb. 17, 2022. According to the notice, the survey is designed to collect data that will be used to forecast hemp activity as well as provide more information on production practices and costs.
Stakeholders lack consistent knowledge and information to navigate risks within the sector. The main purpose of the survey is meant to create transparency. The hemp market is constantly facing high risks that are changing, which according to the USDA includes limited information on the demand for hemp products.
Currently, stakeholders rely on varying information on quality and costs from several private and local sources. The notice mentions that there has been a continued request for the USDA to provide stakeholders with “consistent unbiased data.
This new survey will focus on economic data collected in 2020 to create awareness on the growing industry as well as respond to different needs identified within the sector. The responses will specifically be used to find out production costs as well as the scope and significance for a market structure.
The department said that the gathered data will be used in rulemaking, resource management and risk management. Stakeholders will also be receiving information on market outlook and worldwide competitiveness. According to a USDA spokesperson, hemp producers will receive the survey through the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (“NASDA”).
The survey is expected to collect data from 20,000 individuals and is planned to be conducted every year. As part of a current review, interested individuals are allowed to submit feedback on the proposed survey during a period of 30 days.
The agency relies on stakeholder feedback and has used it to make hemp businesses more flexible by aligning their insurance policies to those of other crops. For example, hemp growers could qualify for coverage programs including the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance as a result of the agency’s efforts.
In 2020, the department proposed a survey that would help in developing regulations within the sector. The USDA sought to partner with the University of Kentucky to collect data after marijuana was federally legalized. Last month, the department announced that it would be carrying out a webinar series to provide information on hemp with Cornell University as partner.
According to stakeholders, results from the latest survey have shown a decline in the industry and therefore reforms are still needed to aid in growing the industry.
The entire cannabis industry, including sector actors such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS), would benefit greatly if marijuana was legalized federally and similar surveys were done by the USDA to promote the growth of the industry.
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