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2018 Farm Bill Summary and Its Impact for Hemp Farmers and Hemp Industry

The 2018 Farm Bill led to many changes regarding hemp farming. The bill updated, changed, or removed some of the regulations, rules, and laws of hemp farming. You need to know what change so that you will be compliant with the requirements of the bill about hemp farming.

While abiding by the definition of industrial hemp, the 2014 farm bill allowed for higher education organizations and state agricultural departments, when a state permits, to grow hemp. Industrial hemp was defined by having 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. Hemp is no longer classified as part of the controlled substances list and is thus classified as an agricultural commodity. One can also now get a policy to cover hemp from the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation under crop insurance. In addition to being allowed to grow hemp, there are rules for cultivation and quality, as well as punishments when one breaks the rules and repeat offenders. Among the rules are that the hemp should have no more than 0.3% THC content and one cannot cultivate hemp without a license. The bill also has various guidelines for state regulation and what one needs to do to submit reports to the secretary of agriculture.

Since the bill was introduced, production rates have significantly improved. The numbers continue to grow steadily since the bill took effect. The estimated hemp acreage in 2016 was 9800, and was at 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. Hemp seeds were to maintain imported, and the supplies mostly came from Canada.

The USDA is setting out to develop rules based on the 2018 farm bill, dubbed the Hemp Production Program. This program is intended to update the regulations from a section contained in the 2014 bill. The USDA also expects farmers and growers to follow the rules and regulations of the 2014 bill until the new ones become effective 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.

There has been a challenge in the cultivation of hemp because farmers are now required to place cultivation on hold since the state does not legally allow them to grow hemp under the 2014 bill. Another challenge is that the crop is not insurable in 2019 because crop insurance rules have not yet adopted to help growing or provided 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. As you await the 2018 changes, ensure that you are following a ruling place so that you do not get yourself in problems and losses.

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