In the absence of federal guidance on the use of pesticides, the nine states that have legalized cannabis for commercial use are building a patchwork of regulatory polices in an effort to ensure that the end product is safe for consumers, reports the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
For all the buzz about recently legalized industrial hemp, Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey expects a slow shift to the crop. "It will be a long time before it is a third crop in a lot of places," he told the North American Agricultural Journalists on Monday. "I think we have a lot to learn in growing the crop yet."
The 2018 farm bill legalized industrial hemp production, but it is likely to be 2020 before the USDA produces the regulatory framework for the new crop, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.
In a flourish of political pomp, Sen. Mitch McConnell signed the final draft of the farm bill Monday with a hemp pen, grown and made in Kentucky. It wasn’t accidental. The legislation legalizes the production of industrial hemp, a multipurpose, quick-growing plant that farmers in …
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley feigned shock on Thursday that House and Senate negotiators did not want his farm subsidy reform in the final version of the five-year farm bill. “Surprise, surprise, surprise,” he said scornfully.
Industrial hemp, used in products from clothes to health aids, could be the new cash crop for small farms, perhaps the successor to tobacco for making money on limited acreage, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.
The two top officers of the New York Farm Bureau told Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that trade and immigration are the top ag issues in the Empire State, reports the Glens Falls Post-Star. "We are swimming in milk," said vice president Eric Ooms, placing the blame on Canadian barricades to U.S. dairy.
While the rest of the nation debates whether to allow industrial hemp farming, the Navajo Nation is already planning for the first crop. Some are hoping that the controversial plant will help bring money to Native American reservations, the same way that casinos have, says Reuters.
Colorado is the first state in the nation to certify seeds for growing hemp, meaning they contain tiny amounts of the psychoactive chemical that gives marijuana its buzz, says the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. A state Agriculture Department official said certified seeds, the result of a project begun in March with Colorado State University and Colorado Seed Growers Association, will give hemp farmers confidence they are growing a legal plant.