November’s Farm Bill started it.
Now the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) needs to follow suit. And thankfully, they’ve said things are in the works.
Last week, the USDA said hemp regulations should be ready for the fall, in time for the 2020 growing season.
Why Hemp Regulations are needed
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the Farm Bill) opened the door for farmers looking to work a hemp crop into their rotation. Thanks to the Bill, hemp is now legal across the United States.
The problem is, it still remains a grey area for many farmers looking for legitimate protection and financial services.
Many farmers already growing hemp are finding it hard to secure the proper crop insurance. Producers are being told that, because of the complexities and the lack of historical data, insurance could take time.
Additionally, some hemp growers and businesses have had trouble securing financial services from banks. Banking institutions, often because of the lack of formal hemp regulations, are unsure how to proceed when it comes to offering services. Some still see it as a risk, and use the lack of regulations as an excuse.
In June, the American Bankers Association even sent a letter to the Federal Reserve asking for clarification on the legal status of hemp.
Farmers and businesses selling hemp are just asking to be treated just like any other agricultural business. That’s only fair. Hopefully clearly outlined hemp regulations will provide that.