A House stopgap spending bill aimed at avoiding an Oct. 1 government shutdown would ensure that trade assistance to farmers continues and also would bolster specialty crop research and fund USDA’s coming hemp program.
When it comes to food or “health” products containing cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, the federal government is not keeping up with the marketplace, where sales of CBD products topped $500 million in 2018.
From the Southeast to New England, the Pacific Northwest to the mid-Atlantic, and most places in between, states are embracing hemp as a welcome alternative for growers struggling with low commodity prices.
The delay in passing and implementing the 2018 farm bill has left hemp producers and state departments of agriculture dealing with a world of uncertainty regarding everything from importing seed to providing guidance to law enforcement about how to regulate the transportation of hemp across state lines.
The Farm Credit Administration will issue guidance as soon as next week to system institutions on lending to producers who are clamoring to get financing for industrial hemp, but the commodity’s future remains clouded by regulatory hurdles.