The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently created a stir in the hemp industry when, in its annual National Drug Threat Assessment report, it called out hemp production as a way for drug trafficking organizations to cover up illicit cannabis operations. The DEA claims this is done by a “significant number of hemp businesses and grow operations.” Read more
The hemp industry is making a major push to try to remove DEA involvement from hemp. Part of that revolves around the DEA’s attempted regulation of intermediary hemp material and synthetically produced cannabinoids. One of those cannabinoids, delta-8-THC, is a buzzing topic among the industry as of late. This week, Hemp Grower Managing Editor Patrick Williams and Associate Editor Andriana Ruscitto dug into exactly what this cannabinoid is, how it’s produced and its complex legal status. Read more
Another point of contention regarding the DEA lies in the industry’s requirement that labs testing hemp be certified with the agency. That requirement has been delayed until 2022, which many say is necessary to allow more labs to come online. Williams wrote more about the delay this week and how it could affect the industry moving forward. Read more
In other news…
A California bill would set in place a number of new regulations on the state’s hemp industry, not the least of which is a ban on hemp flower sales. The California Hemp Association has lodged its opposition to several specific aspects of the bill, including the flower ban and the proposed point of taxation. Wayne Richman, founder and president of the California Hemp Association, told Hemp Grower that a more holistic dialogue is needed to ensure the interests of farmers themselves are represented in this bill. Read more
There's a growing interest among farmers and a certain degree of demand among consumers for hemp fiber products. This week, Peoria Public Radio published a piece on Illinois farmers who are pushing forward on the fiber segment. Read more
Smokable hemp regulations are one step closer to taking a 180-degree spin in Indiana. The state’s House of Representatives recently voted 69-28 to pass House Bill 1224, which would repeal the state’s ban on smokable hemp flower and prevent hemp regulators from enforcing regulations that are stricter than federal laws. Read more
Farmers in Massachusetts have had a rough few years of hemp cultivation, with most CBD products illegalized in 2019, followed by 40% of crops testing hot in 2020. A new amendment that would allow hemp producers and processors to sell their products to cannabis dispensaries in the state was supposed to turn things around for 2021—but so far, a program and guidance allowing them to do so has yet to roll out.