Right before the end of last year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the first three states’ plans for the regulation of growing hemp. Louisiana, Ohio, and New Jersey obtained USDA approval for their state hemp plans. The agency also indicated that an additional 15 states had submitted plans that were being reviewed.
Despite the many concerns I share with most in the hemp and CBD industries regarding the USDA’s proposed interim regulations for the growing of hemp, the agency’s approvals of these first three state plans were viewed as positive developments for America’s fledgling hemp industry.
The USDA’s interim regulations have not yet been implemented by the agency. They are still in an extended comment period, which has been extended to January 29th. The USDA has received thousands of comments regarding the proposed interim regulations.
If there was a general feeling of exuberance after the USDA’s approval of the first three state plans, the excitement was diminished late last week when the USDA rejected North Dakota’s proposed hemp regulations. The reasons for the rejection have not been confirmed by the USDA. It seems that the primary reason for the rejection was due to North Dakota’s proposed protocols for sampling and testing of hemp plants. The USDA apparently viewed these as inadequate.
Apparently, North Dakota submitted its regulatory plan based on the requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill, and not the USDA’s proposed interim regulations, which are not yet in force.
Doug Goehring, North Dakota’s Agricultural Commissioner commenting on the rejection stated, “We wrote our plan according to what the law is, or what was passed in December 2018…”
A major issue for North Dakota is apparently the lack of a budget for the extensive sampling and testing required by the USDA’s proposed interim regulations. Goehring indicated that his agency was trying to work through the issues with the USDA and would seek additional funding for sampling and testing.
Even with the rejection of the North Dakota plan, hemp farmers in the state will be able to continue growing this year under the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, which allowed the growing of hemp for research purposes. Last year North Dakota had 64 licensed hemp growers.
My conclusion is that the rejection of the North Dakota plan by the USDA is a wake-up call for states who have not yet submitted their plans to the agency for approval. It’s clear that the USDA will not rubber-stamp proposed state plans.
About FC Global Strategies
FC Global Strategies (FC) provides strategic services and programs to early-stage and entrepreneurial growth-oriented companies and is focused on the cannabis, hemp, CBD, and renewable energy industries in the US and globally. (www.fcglobalstrategies.com)
These services and programs include:
Development, implementation, and review of growth strategies.
Identification of global opportunities, the structuring of cross-border transactions, and other strategic directions.
Development of programs to increase operational efficiencies and profitability.
Providing operational due diligence for institutional investors.
Development and implementation of turn-around strategies.
FC Global Strategies’ affiliate, FC Global Events, sponsors Hemp Boot Camps. These one-day events are held throughout the United States and are targeted to:
Farmers growing other crops who are interested in growing hemp.
Farmers currently growing hemp, who want the latest information and resources, especially regarding cultivars, the latest in cultivation techniques, and the market for hemp fiber, seeds, and CBD.
Entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a hemp or CBD business.
Investors interested in better understanding the hemp and CBD industries as investment opportunities.
Manufacturers or marketers of CBD products, or entrepreneurs interested in producing or marketing CBD products.
The first Hemp Boot Camps of 2020 will be held in Lincoln, Nebraska on February 1, 2020, and in Des Moines, Iowa on February 29, 2020. A complete schedule of upcoming Hemp Boot Camps is available at www.hempbootcamps.com.
Jeffrey Friedland, CEO
FC Global Strategies LLC
Tel. +1 646 450 8909