The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that hemp cultivated for fiber, flower, or seeds is now eligible for federal crop insurance. Hemp farmers eligible under the program can insure plants with revenues up to $8.5 million.
“Numerous producers are anxious for a way to protect their hemp crops from natural disasters. The [Whole Farm Revenue Protection] policy will provide a safety net for them. We expect to be able to offer additional hemp coverage options as USDA continues implementing the 2018 Farm Bill.” — USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre, in a press release
To be eligible, farmers must be compliant under their state and federal regulations and “hemp having THC above the compliance level will not constitute an insurable cause of loss,” the release states.
It’s the latest move by the USDA following the 2018 legalization of hemp federally via the Farm Bill. In May, the agency issued its first organic certification for a hemp flower product; although the agency had certified other hemp products in the past, such as Food and Drug Administration-approved hemp food products.
The following month, the USDA released guidance for importing hemp seeds, which previously required Drug Enforcement Administration approval.
Following the passage of the Farm Bill, states could enact their own hemp cultivation program but those must first be approved by the USDA to take effect; the agency has, so far, not approved any of the state-approved plans but the agency notes in the release that those regulations are expected later this year.
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