The U.S hemp boom has been given further boost with the Federal Government announcing the introduction of the 2020 licensing round.
Hemp farmers are also being allowed access to an existing crop insurance program and moves are afoot to allow for a fully-functioning interstate hemp shipments. The Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it is now accepting licensing applications for 2020 from farmers whose states or tribes have not yet signed up to the hemp growing program.
However, they are not available in states that have laws banning commercial growing of hemp, such as Mississippi, New Hampshire, Idaho and South Dakota.
Members of American Indian tribes living in states that ban hemp are also eligible, reports the hempindustrydaily website. The boom in U.S. hemp farming follows the passing of last year’s Farm Bill with acres under hemp production more than trebling this year and that is expected to grow exponentially.
There is a further boost for hemp farmers reports the foodtank website which says they will have access to access to crop insurance for the first time, starting in 2020. Recent regulations released in support of the Farm Bill say that growers now have the opportunity to include their hemp crops under Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) scheme.
However, some farmers see a snag in the WFRP programme as it bases payments on past, rather than projected revenues – and many hemp farms are new operations
Interstate Hemp Shipments
Food Tank reports the The Risk Management Agency (RMA) as saying it is actively investigating other potential insurance options for future growing seasons. In a further development that will support the industry the USDA is talking about getting real-time hemp information to law enforcement authorities in order to ease interstate shipments.
The mash-mash of state regulations combined with a confusion between legal industrial hemp and cannabis has seen shipments seized by authorities, such as this case in Idaho reported by KUTV website
An information-sharing platform with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) could provide ‘some level of solution’ that shipments are legal hemp and not illegal marijuana, according to USDA attorney Mai Dinh. The goal is to allow law enforcement ‘to tap into real time information database’, reports hempindustrydaily.
These latest pieces of good news for the hemp industry follows an announcement earlier this month that banks will no longer have to treat growers differently than other businesses.
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