Federal Rules Prohibit Hemp Licensees from Growing Marijuana, USDA Says

USDA Warns Hemp Farmers Against Expanding into Marijuana Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a reminder to hemp growers that they are not allowed to expand their cannabis interests by producing marijuana. This comes after the USDA has revoked hemp licenses and warned farmers in several states about the illegal nature of holding both hemp and marijuana permits under federal regulations.

Conflicting rules

Despite the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp production across the U.S., marijuana remains banned as a drug at the federal level. This has created a unique jurisdictional and regulatory landscape, as states have varying laws concerning the legality of marijuana. Under the Farm Bill, state hemp programs must be approved by the USDA, which also directly oversees hemp farmers in eight states that do not have state programs.

Laws and regulations for hemp and marijuana production have continued to evolve since 2018, leading to a complex and fluid regulatory environment. The USDA has made it clear that federal rules banning marijuana cultivation by hemp growers apply to all farmers, regardless of their jurisdiction.

Stakeholders pushback

Stakeholders have raised concerns about the ambiguity of current USDA rules regarding the prohibition of holding both hemp and marijuana licenses. Some argue that the regulatory language could be interpreted to only prohibit growing hemp and cannabis on the same land under the same license.

States like Colorado and Oregon, which have state hemp programs, do not specifically prohibit hemp growers from raising marijuana. In fact, guidelines are provided for dual licensees on how to keep their hemp and marijuana crops separate, suggesting that such dual operations are legal.

Turning to THC

Many stakeholders who initially began growing hemp for CBD flowers have shifted their focus to the THC market after a decline in CBD extract sales. While some have started cultivating marijuana, others have directed their supplies of CBD to makers of synthetic forms of high-producing compounds such as delta-8 THC and HHC.

The ongoing dispute over dual licensing may be addressed in the next federal Farm Bill, which was initially expected to be completed this year but has now been pushed back to late 2024.

With reports from Politico, Marijuana Moment

Subscribe to the website by e-mail

If you don't want to miss our updates let us notify you by email! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notices of new posts.

Join 1 other subscriber
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a Reply

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      Compare items
      • Total (0)