Vicente Sederberg LLP Statement on USDA's Historic Hemp Regulations

Oct 29, 2019

DENVER — The U.S. Department of Agriculture released historic regulations Tuesday that will govern the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity in the U.S. Members of the media received a draft version of the long-awaited interim final rule regarding the “Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program,” which includes a note that it is neither final nor effective until it is published in the Federal Register.

The  federal government's decades-long prohibition on hemp production was lifted in December when the 2018 farm bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The bill allowed for federally sanctioned hemp production governed by the USDA. It also gave states, U.S. territories, and American Indian tribes the option to act as primary regulatory authority after they submit regulatory plans to the USDA for approval.

Attorneys with the hemp and cannabinoids practice group at nationally renowned cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP are available to provide commentary and analysis on the new USDA rules. To schedule an interview, contact Mason Tvert at mason@vicentesederberg.com or 720-213-9048.

Statement from Shawn Hauser, partner and chair of the hemp and cannabinoids practice group at Vicente Sederberg LLP:

“The USDA’s issuance of federal hemp regulations represents a major agricultural, economic, and environmental milestone for our country. After decades of being inappropriately classified as a narcotic, hemp is finally going to start being treated as an agricultural commodity in the U.S. Because it is one of the most versatile and sustainable crops on Earth, hemp holds significant promise not only for farmers, manufacturers, and consumers, but also for our planet. This is an exceptionally important development, and its historical significance truly cannot be overstated.

“The USDA has established a regulatory framework that will serve as an infrastructure for the U.S. hemp economy.  These interim rules provide long-awaited clarity, not only for farmers, but also for regulators and service providers like banks and insurance companies, who were hesitant to work with hemp-related businesses without federal guidelines. The rules also provide hemp farmers with important safeguards and benefits generally afforded to agricultural program participants, such as protection against state interference of interstate commerce, and eligibility for federal grants and programs. While the hemp industry has seen incredible growth since the passage of the 2014 farm bill, it has been stifled by the lack of federal regulation. The establishment of federal regulations governing hemp as an agricultural crop is a watershed moment for the entire cannabis industry.”

About Shawn Hauser:

Shawn Hauser is a partner and chair of the hemp and cannabinoids practice group at Vicente Sederberg LLP. With more than a decade of experience in cannabis policy, she is a go-to source for businesses, industry groups, governments, and reporters seeking opinions, analysis, and commentary on hemp law and policy. Shawn is a member of the Hemp Industries Association Legislative Review Committee and the steering committee for the American Hemp Campaign, which was instrumental in legalizing hemp cultivation in Texas earlier this year. She was also the lead drafter of the American Hemp Campaign's 2018 Farm Bill Policy Guide and Model Hemp Production Plan, which has assisted policymakers and other stakeholders in the development of regulatory regimes governing hemp production across the U.S. In May, Shawn presented on behalf of the Cannabis Trade Federation at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's historic public hearing on the regulation of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds.

About Vicente Sederberg LLP:

Vicente Sederberg LLP (https://VicenteSederberg.com) is one of the nation's leading firms focused on cannabis law and policy. It offers a full suite of services for all types of marijuana and hemp businesses, ancillary businesses, investors, trade associations, and governmental bodies. Since its founding in 2010, VS has helped shape marijuana and hemp laws and policies across the U.S. and around the world. It has also assisted clients in obtaining cannabis business licenses in 21 states and dozens of localities.