The hemp industry was expecting rules to be released by the USDA next month, but USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach recently told some senators that those rules will be delayed until the fall.
Ibach commented that regulating the new industry is complicated and causing the delay, Hemp Industry Daily reports. The delay of rules also means that crop insurance for farmers, among other things, will be delayed.
Ibach said, “We have encouraged producers … to look for a partner, look for a customer. One of our big concerns is that production and consumption and processing won’t align with each other.”
The National Hemp Association stressed that a national standard for testing THC levels needs to be established. During testimony, the association said that states determining their own testing protocols could lead to confusion where hemp products could be legal in some states but not in others.
Erica Stark of the National Hemp Association said, “If states implement too many different testing protocols, we are left in a situation where what is legal in one state may be considered illegal in another state.”