The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released guidelines for hemp companies to apply for and receive federal loans, Marijuana Moment reports.
The guidelines, which were detailed in a memo issued last month, are part of the USDA‘s aim to align the federal hemp industry with other agricultural commodities — one piece of that effort is establishing the framework for hemp farmers to acquire federal loans.
“While it’s understood that this new commodity will likely produce some servicing challenges because of State and Federal regulations, it should be treated as closely as possible to any other agricultural commodity and serviced in the same manner.” — USDA memo excerpt
The memo lists the requirements that a hemp business must meet in order to qualify for a federal loan, which includes being licensed under a USDA-approved state or tribal hemp program and strict guidelines for reporting to the agency about any potential issues that arise with one’s hemp crop.
“Hemp will be considered like any other borrower produced commodity, if the hemp was produced under a license authorized by the 2014 or 2018 farm bills, and provided the crop is not abandoned or destroyed,” according to the memo.
USDA also clarified that federal loans cannot be used to pay for the disposal of hemp crops that test higher than the federal 0.3% THC cap.
The agency noted that, while access to a bank account is yet another requirement to receive a loan, not all banks are fully willing to cooperate with the hemp industry yet despite its federal legalization.
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