USDA encouraged comments on hemp for its webinar on the 2018 Farm Bill

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USDA encouraged comments on hemp for its webinar on the 2018 Farm Bill

Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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A webinar was recently held by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but it wasn’t just any old webinar. The USDA organized a webinar to enlighten people on the topic of hemp production and the recently enacted 2018 Farm Bill. 

The listening session was hosted as a means of preparing to implement the all-important Farm Bill, officially titled the ‘Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018’.

Hosted by the USDA’s Specialty Crops Program, the hemp webinar invited participants to register in advance for their turn to speak. It kicked off at 12:00 p.m. on March 13 and concluded at 3:00 p.m.

A brief overview of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018

The five-year Farm Bill, sponsored by Sen. McConnell, Mitch [R-KY], was valued at $867 billion. It boasts 29 co-sponsors, including the likes of Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR], Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO] and Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY].

A bipartisan display of support for the bill led to it moving through Congress with flying colors. The bill is incredibly relevant in today’s modern world and could help tackle issues pertaining to export demand, sinking farm incomes and climate change.

Now that the Farm Bill has been given the go-ahead, there’s a good chance of weed being legalized at the federal level. If that scenario actually does play out in real life, the plant could be banished from Schedule 1 permanently.

With hemp being made legal, derivatives of the plant, including cannabidiol (CBD),  are no longer controlled substances. While this is a breakthrough moment in history, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue believes that the USDA won’t have finalized the hemp rules ready until the 2020 growing season.

The USDA held its first hemp listening session in February

This isn’t the first time that the USDA has hosted a hemp listening session. On February 26, the inaugural hemp webinar was hosted. At the most recent 2018 Farm Bill Webinar on the Domestic Hemp Production Program, the Specialty Crops Program’s three-hour webinar encouraged public comments on various sections of the bill associated with industrial hemp.

In excess of 2,120 people joined the online webinar, 46 of whom got involved by informing USDA officials of their opinions/suggestions on hemp production. The USDA has expressed appreciation to each individual who participated in the webinar.

Want to listen to the USDA hemp webinar? Visit the Marketing Program for the Commercial Production of Hemp webpage to listen to a recording of the Domestic Hemp Production Program, the Specialty Crops Program.

https://www.hempbizjournal.com/us-hemp-moving-forward-with-usda-organic-certifications/