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After months of anticipation, the U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA) is gearing up to release an interim final rule on hemp regulations.

The announcement took place last Thursday during a hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst asked USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky for updates on the timeline for federal hemp regulations.

“[The USDA will] be issuing the interim final rule here within the next couple of weeks,” he said. “We have been in the interagency clearance process now for over 90 days. We are working with some of our federal colleagues through the process to get input for there. I think we’re nearing—just about at the end of that process.”

Censky also notes that a key discussion will be “opportunities for Tribes to participle in hemp production.” The USDA will also assess “the effects the regulation will have on the agricultural lending industry.” He adds that the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services team is “working aggressively to stand up the Hemp Production Program in advance of the 2020 planting season.”

FDA Regulations

Politicians are also asking for updates on federal rules for putting hemp extracts in food and beverages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expecting to announce plans for their next steps this fall. However, this means formal regulations may not take place until next year.

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell McConnell asked the FDA to “issue a policy of enforcement discretion with regard to certain products containing CBD.” He wants this done within 120 days so banks are more willing to work with CBD companies.

The FDA previously asked for public comments related to the regulation of CBD products. A CBD food and beverage hearing also took place this year on May 31. 

State of Hemp in the Nation

Click here for a political and legal update from Dylan Summers, our Vice President of Government Affairs.

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