Updated USDA Regulations and Rules on Hemp

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Inyo Updated USDA Regulations and Rules on Hemp

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With Joseph Biden becoming the 46th president of the United States in January 2021, many new directions and policies are expected to take place. However, Trump’s administration has made the most of their farewell days by contributing to the hemp policy.

USDA Publishes the Final Hemp Rule Six Days Prior To The New President’s Official Declaration 

Six days prior to the new president’s official declaration, the United States Department of Agriculture published the final piece of law for domestic hemp production on January 15th, 2021. The law was under process for the last two years since the Farm Bill 2018 was proposed. It has directed the Agriculture Department to come up with a national regulatory framework underlying all the rules and regulations for hemp production. Such a regulatory framework for hemp production was first published back in October 2019. Then the final piece of law, published in January 2021, is an apparent modification of all the provisions and clauses it provides based on experiences from the production year 2020.

Effective from March 22nd, 2021, the final rule comprises all the significant rules and regulations applicable to industrial hemp production across the United States. Though the final rule has come up with a central law unifying the standard of hemp production across the U.S., many states seem to negotiate with the USDA to get their individual hemp production programs approved. That being said, states have this right to implement their individual programs as per the Farm Bill of 2018, but they’re supposed to get them approved by the USDA.

Several states have approved individual programs for hemp production as per the interim rules, and the recently published final rule does not carry any clause that denies their approvals by any means. However, there are still many states whose programs have not been approved by USDA yet. Colorado tops the list of such states, and the time is lapsing pretty quickly.

Rise in The Negligence Threshold for THC 

The final rule published by USDA comes up with so many concepts to be understood; one of them is about the negligent violation of approved THC levels, which primarily differentiate industrial hemp from illegal cannabis. The accepted and approved THC level is 0.3 percent or less, and the drug which gets tested for more than 0.3 percent of THC, even slightly above the figure, was subjected to crucial repercussions from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) previously.

The updated final rule for hemp production published in January 2021 has raised the negligence threshold from 0.5 to 1 percent. However, it limits the hemp growers to making only one negligent violation throughout a single growing season. This is certainly a great way of controlling the US hemp growers. This increased threshold for THC seems to provide the United States hemp growers with stronger protection and contributes to the foundation of a viable hemp industry.

The Native Americans’ Rights 

Apart from raising the THC threshold, the final rule also addresses Native Americans’ right to implement their individual hemp programs, an area unaddressed for a long time. Because the tribal areas of the United States aren’t designated as states, they lack the right to implement their individual hemp production programs. The modification will potentially bring many opportunities for Native Americans looking to start their own business or looking to produce hemp for themselves and their community. The law allows them to keep their jurisdictions maintained for legal hemp production, which would be immensely helpful for the tribes in terms of agriculture and economy at the same time.

Biden’s Memo to Freeze the Final Rule 

Even though the bill had been approved, enacted, and was supposed to be in effect from March 22nd, 2021, Joe Biden has issued a memo withholding any rules which haven’t been published in the Federal Register yet, after taking office. While the final rule on hemp production required a detailed overview by Biden, the new president has decided to keep the previously published rules active compared to keeping up with the final rule published by the Trump Administration at the last moment.                      

This has been a crucial step for Biden because his nominee for serving the agriculture department is Tom Vilsack. Vilsack served under the same capacity during the Obama administration and faced criticism both for being connected to Monsanto and because he didn’t seem to implement the scientific concepts while in office.

The Future of Final Rule & The Hemp Industry 

The final rule is likely to have an immense impact on the hemp industry’s viability and growth across the United States. With the final rule seemingly entering the last stage of its passage, Senator Rand Paul is also moving ahead with his Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (HEMP) alongside it. In case the HEMP act gets passed, it could have serious implications over the final rule. It might also drive USDA towards the revaluation of the policies and regulations standardized by the final rule. However, this would take years, and so we cannot expect anything to happen very soon.

To condense things, the year 2021 has been busy for the hemp industry of the United States. From the rapid publishing of final rule by Trump’s administration to Biden’s orders for withholding them, to the state’s continuous negotiations with USDA for getting their hemp programs approved and subsequently the unbreakable interest of DEA in the enforcement of hemp law, things seem to be very interesting for hemp growers of the United States.

However, only time can tell where these laws and regulations will lead the hemp industry. Whether the rules and regulations get stalled or passed, they’ll always remain subject to change.

Where to Buy Cannabis In Las Vegas?

While the hemp industry settles across the United States, you can always buy your favorite cannabis products from the best cannabis dispensary, Inyo Las Vegas. We have all the finest cannabis products in stock with a staff of highly knowledgeable budtenders on board to help you pick the correct product, dosage, and type of cannabis for your lifestyle.

Buying your favorite cannabis products is simple with Inyo! Visit us in-store or place your order online for curbside pickup and delivery. We provide incredible in-store, delivery, and curbside pickup services for all cannabis enthusiasts.

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