The Oregon Department of Agriculture has legalized commercial hemp in the state and is currently developing laws that will regulate industrial hemp production in the state. Farmers receive licences every year. Prior to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, growers could only grow hemp if they met the university`s pilot requirements in Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill. Now, growers can grow hemp if they meet these requirements or grow according to a state or tribe-approved hemp production plan. Industrial hemp plants grown in a controlled greenhouse environment| UF/IFAS video photo The 2018 Farm Act restricted the participation of certain convicted offenders in hemp production. A person with a state or federal conviction in relation to a controlled substance is subject to a 10-year non-approval restriction on hemp production, with an exclusion for those who have legally grown hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill. A subsequent question was whether this restriction would apply only to the holder of the establishment applying for the licence or whether it would apply to all employees of the establishment. In an industry that is already suffering from growing labour shortages, is it really necessary to limit the labour pool by requiring every field worker, tractor driver or janitor to undergo this background check before a farm can grow hemp? This is an issue where the rule provides much-needed relief and clarity for producers. When submitting an application to grow hemp, farmers must provide a completed criminal record, and if the application involves a commercial entity, the criminal record report must be provided for each “key participant”. The rule further clarifies that a significant participant is any person who has a direct or indirect financial interest in the business entity, such as an owner or partner. The definition does not include shift supervisors or field workers. Fortunately, these rules do not make it any more difficult to obtain a reliable agricultural workforce. Farmers grow hemp for manufacturers looking for cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) for their oils, lotions, foods and beverages.
They grow hemp for textiles, food, insulation and pet litter. To date, researchers have identified more than 25,000 uses of hemp, according to various sources. The 2018 Farm Bill changed federal policy on hemp, including removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and treating hemp as an agricultural product. The bill legalized hemp under certain restrictions and defined hemp as the plant species Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. Previously, the 2014 Farm Bill included a definition of hemp and allowed state agriculture departments or universities to grow and produce hemp under research or pilot programs. These new rules provide much-needed advice to farmers and others involved in industrial hemp production. Importantly, we now have a better idea of how the plant is sampled and tested for its THC content and what happens when a plant exceeds the 0.3% THC limit.
The USDA acknowledged some of the uncertainty surrounding testing, understanding that a farmer can do everything right, but still has a “hot crop” and shouldn`t be penalized too much for results beyond his control. Moreover, the rules, thankfully, do not make it harder to obtain reliable agricultural workers, and they affirm that states that have not legalized hemp must not interfere with the interstate transportation of crops. In addition to the land information that must be provided to the appropriate state or tribe, licensed farmers must also report their hemp acreage to the Farm Service Agency. This will give the USDA and stakeholders a better idea of how much hemp is grown and grown in the U.S., as it is currently difficult to obtain this information. The FSA reports acreage, including hemp, but hemp area is under-reported because farmers were not required to provide the information. However, the reported numbers give a general idea of where hemp is grown in the country and provide at least a lower baseline to begin with (Figure 1). Hemp has the potential to improve the lives of many Americans, including those who grow it. The difference in monetary value between an acre of corn and a morning of hemp is astronomical.
The difference in sustainability between a hectare of hemp and a hectare of trees grown for paper is incredible. The state of North Carolina is still following the industrial hemp pilot program, which was approved in 2017. However, state lawmakers are waiting for updated guidelines after the federal government legalized hemp in 2018. Farmers in Oregon, like those in Colorado, benefit from a business-friendly Department of Agriculture. In fact, Oregon residents grow more hemp than any other state. Farmers seeded more than 46,219 acres in May 2019, up from 7,808 acres in 2018, an increase of more than 500%. And earlier this year, Oregon State University announced the opening of the Global Hemp Innovation Center, the largest hemp research organization in the United States “with 40 faculty from 19 disciplines conducting research at 10 sites across the state and four sites around the world in Asia and Europe,” according to the organization`s website. Colorado`s industry has grown exponentially. In 2014, hemp occupied only 1,811 acres across the state. In October 2019, this figure reached 87,008 hectares.
At the same time, the number of licensees increased from 131 in 2014 to 1,939 in 2019. In 2019, 60 of Colorado`s 64 counties had at least one registered hemp operation. Cannabidiol or CBD is legalized – in certain circumstances Ultimately, Bill Farm legalizes hemp, but it doesn`t create a system where people can grow it as freely as tomatoes or basil. It will be a highly regulated crop in the United States for personal and industrial production. Oregon is one of the few states that allows the sale of all hemp products. Some states, such as neighboring California, don`t allow the production of hemp-related products that people ingest, such as supplements, tinctures, and candy, which can hinder farmers who grow hemp for cannabinoids like CBD. The bill to legalize industrial hemp was proposed by the state legislature and appears to have great support from residents across the state. So far, however, hemp cultivation is still illegal in this state.