If you’re reading this, the fact that the hemp industry is in a constant state of change likely doesn’t come as a surprise to you. As such, it’s no shock that the United States Department of Agriculture is currently working on a plan for bringing new rules into play. Although officials at the White House must approve of the plans before they are brought into being, business owners in the hemp industry are eager to hear what changes will be taking place. Additionally, the new rules aren’t public knowledge, making the waiting game all that much more difficult for industry leaders.
The fine folks over at Hemp Industry Daily recently spoke to a number of people within the industry to get their thoughts on just which rules the USDA might change and how that will affect regulations for hemp across the country.
Will There Be a Rise in THC Levels?
Shi Farms Managing Director Steven Turetzky weighed in on the issue of whether there will be a rise in permitted THC levels and what that could mean. Here’s what he had to say:
“If they increase the THC allowable limit to 1%, we can grow some amazing plants. The varieties that we’d be able to start cultivating would lead to higher CBD percentages, which means more efficiency in the extraction market, which means higher potency products that we can put out at a better price. Beyond that, we can start targeting rare cannabinoids easier because our THC levels could be higher so that means we can come up with more novel therapeutic compounds.
I’d love to see the USDA come down with an actual THC limit that is hopefully higher but also standardized so states can compete apples to apples.”
Others in the industry agree. In fact, the general consensus is that if THC levels are allowed to be raised, the burden on farmers will decrease exponentially.
Other Issues That Are Being Considered
This is just one of the many issues that the USDA is considering with regards to hemp. Although what exactly their plan has remained private, there is much speculation. Industry insiders also believe that the following topics are under discussion:
- Clarity of THC testing
- Higher standards for soil quality
- Transportation of hemp across state lines
- Seed certification standards
- Regulations for tracking crops
Another issue important to the folks at Shi Farms is guidance on water rights. Once again, Managing Director Steven Turetsky sums it all up quite nicely, sharing the industry’s hope that the United States Department of Agriculture introduce some new language instructing that hemp is an agricultural crop. This would ensure that water boards would not be charging marijuana pricing, saving small farms a great deal of money in producing quality hemp products. The end result? More growth for farms across the country.
For more information on these and other issues, be sure to check out the article above from Hemp Industry Daily to see what hemp business owners and advocates have to say about the decisions being made by the USDA. And, of course, keep your eyes on this space for more about hemp in the press.