The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved five state and tribal hemp production plans as part of its authority oversight of the industry included in the 2018 Farm Bill, the agency announced on Thursday.
The approvals include Washington state, Wyoming, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Kansas, and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska.
The USDA had already approved hemp cultivation plans for six states and seven tribes. As of February 12, another nine state hemp plans are under review by the agency, along with 16 tribal plans. Another 15 states will continue operating under pilot programs laid out in 2014.
According to USDA data, hemp plans from Tennessee and Connecticut are “pending resubmission” which means the plans have been reviewed by the agency but did not meet their criteria for approval; one tribe is also in resubmission status.
Seven other states, along with the U.S. Virgin Islands, are currently drafting regulations for USDA approval, along with four tribes.
Last October, the USDA released its draft rules for domestic hemp production and, since last August, the agency has taken several steps to normalize the industry, including giving hemp farmers access to federal crop insurance programs, such as the Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program – which allows farms with revenues up to $8.5 million to insure their crops – the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance Program, and the Natural Disaster Assistance Program, which protects against losses associated with lower yields, destroyed crops, or prevented planting where no permanent federal crop insurance program is available.
Last year, the agency also clarified its rules for hemp seed importation which allow seeds to be imported from other countries, so long as there is documentation the seeds will produce plants that fall below the federal 0.3 percent THC threshold.
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