US (CO): Growers say new USDA interim hemp rules threaten the industry

The sentiment emanating from the Colorado Winter Hemp Summit on Thursday was clear; the new regulations proposed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interim final rules for regulating hemp production are too strict and threaten the future of the industry.

“After the rules were issued we saw farmers that just lost hope and decided they weren’t planting next year,” said Cindy Sovine, chair of the hemp committee for the National Cannabis Industries Association. “It’s really just unworkable.”

Of particular concern to the hemp producers gathered at Boulder Jewish Community Center on Thursday, was the stipulation any plant with a THC level above 0.3% is considered marijuana and must be destroyed by a person authorized to handle marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act — such as a DEA-registered reverse distributor or a federal, state or local law enforcement officer.

With the genetics of hemp seeds still being tinkered with, industry leaders during Thursday’s summit said ensuring a crop only produces plants with 0.3% THC or less is nearly impossible. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it cannot yet properly regulate seeds


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