ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — U.S. Agriculture officials recently finalized rules that would allow farmers to legally grow hemp.
The industry estimates it could grow nationally to be a $1.9 billion market by 2022.
However, new federal rules are raising concerns. Those rules establish requirements for licensing, maintain records on the land where hemp is grown and test the levels of THC.
The big concern here is if hemp farmers don’t meet those requirements, they would have to dispose of the plants.
Under the new federal rule, hemp farmers must submit a sampling within 15 days of their harvest.
The concentration of THC must be below .3% Any plants measuring too high must be destroyed.
Advocates said many farmers in Western New York have already harvested for this year and fear they will lose big bucks if their plants don’t measure up.
“Farmers across the state and across the country are utilizing these genetics and are going to be at the mercy of the USDA,” Entrepreneur and Activist Steve VanDeWalle said. “We’re going to see a lot of huge disruption and a lot of losses until the genetics industry can create new genetics based around this rule.”
The comment period for the proposed Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program began on October 31 and is set to end on December 31st of this year. However, Schumer argued, with stakeholders having such serious and valid concerns about the rule, it is critical that they have adequate time to submit their comments on it.
Schumer released a statement on the topic on November 27, 2019:
“When it comes to an industry as promising as industrial hemp in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, the feds need to get it right the first time, and not rush to any reckless regulatory decisions. Regulating this rapidly-emerging industry is a must, but any rules must be part of a well-thought-out process that carefully considers the needs of all stakeholders—from farmers and growers to producers and manufacturers,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why today I’m urging USDA to extend the comment period for its proposed final rule on hemp production to ensure that farmers, growers and producers have ample time to provide input and have their concerns listened to and that a meaningful part of these concerns is integrated into the final rule. These hemp experts have serious fears about how this proposed rulemaking could impose unrealistic or poorly thought out rules, restrict their industry, cut-off growth and stop the creation of good-paying jobs. So, it is incumbent on USDA, the chief agricultural regulators in the United States, to hear them out and make improvements to the final regulations that are balanced and smart.”
For more information on VanDeWalle’s business: http://www.stevevandewalle.com