This week, progress was made on two pieces of legislation that could give the hemp industry a major boost if passed.
On Dec. 15, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (HEMP) Act of 2020. Paul’s legislation would address some of hemp farmers’ primary concerns with the USDA’s interim final rule, including boosting the THC limit to 1%. The bill would also only require testing the final hemp-derived product instead of the current standard to test the hemp crop no more than 15 days post-harvest, among other major improvements to federal hemp legislation. Read more
U.S. Hemp Roundtable also provided an update on H.B. 8179, which would legalize CBD in dietary supplements and require the FDA to establish a regulatory pathway for their sale. While not much tangible progress has been made on moving the bill through Congress since its introduction in September, the bill has now picked up 30 sponsors across both political party lines. Hemp industry leaders are hopeful this bodes well for the legislation. Read more
The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) also provided an update this week on their efforts to establish a national hemp checkoff program, which would fund research, promotion and hemp consumer education. Larry Farnsworth, the spokesman for the NIHC, tells Hemp Grower that the survey would close at the end of December, with results likely published early in 2021. Read more
Meanwhile, Hemp Grower has started to take a look back at the year and where the hemp industry stands at the end of 2020. One story examines the effects the pilot program extension granted in September could have on the industry moving forward, as well as where states stand with their patchwork of hemp regulations. Another story delves deeper into how CBD companies have fared amid the COVID-19 pandemic nearly a year later, as well as how the pandemic could permanently shape the landscape moving forward.Keep an eye out this upcoming week for more stories on this year’s trends in both the hemp and cannabis industries. Until then, for those in the process of trimming their hemp buds (or wanting to learn more about it), check out this story for an in-depth look at how LOWD manages its 7-person trim team and maintains consistency.