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Hemp Rules Stay In Effect... For Now

A top official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture praised the agency’s work on hemp this week, putting into doubt any plans to make additional changes.

Sonia Jimenez, deputy administrator for the Specialty Crops Program in the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, talked up the rules in a newsletter the agency sends to farmers.

“The work covered three comment periods and a fair, consistent, science-based process for states, tribes and individual producers,” Jimenez said in the newsletter.

She made no mention of revisiting the hemp rules. Some in the hemp industry are hoping the agency considers a fourth public-comment period and makes additional changes, especially on testing protocols.

President Joe Biden’s chief of staff informed all federal agencies last week to consider pausing any new rules for additional review; the USDA hemp rule was published a day ahead of that memo and is scheduled to take effect in March.

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