US finalizing rule to allow farmers to legally grown hemp

National

FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2019 file photo, workers at MERJ farms unload hemp plants during the first harvest at the Sullivan County farm, in Bristol, Tenn. U.S. agriculture officials say a rule that allows farmers to legally grow hemp will be finalized this week. It’s a move that many states have awaited for months so they can begin widespread hemp production. The rule establishes requirements for licensing, maintaining records on the land where hemp will be grown, testing the levels of the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high, and disposal of plants that don’t meet the requirements. (David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. agriculture officials say a rule that allows farmers to legally grow hemp will be finalized this week.

It’s a move that many states have awaited so they can begin widespread hemp production.

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants but have different levels of THC, the ingredient that causes a high.

The rule establishes requirements for licensing, maintaining records on land where hemp will be grown, testing the levels of THC, and disposal of plants that don’t meet the requirements. It also makes hemp producers eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the agency will publish an interim final rule Thursday that formalizes the hemp program approved in the 2018 farm bill.

States and Native American tribes can now submit production plans for USDA approval.

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