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USDA Approves Five State And Tribal Hemp Production Plans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture or USDA said it has approved hemp production plans for two more states and three additional tribes under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.

The agency has now approved hemp production plans for the states of Washington and Wyoming as well as for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Kansas, and the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska.

The USDA has previously approved hemp cultivation plans for six states and seven tribes. As of February 12, hemp production plans for another ten states and sixteen tribes are under review by the agency.

The passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized hemp production in the U.S. The Farm Bill defines hemp as containing 0.3 percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol or THC on a dry-weight basis.

The Farm Bill directed the USDA to develop a regulatory oversight program for hemp and include provisions for the department to approve hemp production plans submitted by states and Indian tribes.

To produce hemp, growers must be licensed or authorized under a state, tribe, or USDA production program. If a state or tribe has an approved plan or is in the process of developing a plan, growers must apply and be licensed or authorized under its hemp program.

If a state or tribe does not have a plan and does not intend to have a plan, growers can apply for a license from the USDA as long as production of hemp is allowed in the state or tribe.

In August 2019, the USDA said that hemp grown for fiber, flower or seeds will be eligible for federal crop insurance under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection or WFRP program for crop year 2020.

This was followed by the USDA Risk Management Agency's announcement in December 2019 that it is rolling out of a new crop insurance option for hemp growers in select counties of 21 states in 2020. The pilot insurance program will provide Actual Production History or APH coverage under the agency's Multi-Peril Crop Insurance or MPCI program.

The MPCI coverage is for hemp grown for fiber, grain or CBD oil for the 2020 crop year, and is in addition to the WFRP coverage available to hemp growers announced earlier this year.

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