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US (OR): Department of Agriculture withdraws state hemp plan

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Sonny Perdue, to withdraw the state’s Hemp Plan. The letter is in response to the passage of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act. President Trump signed the act on October 1, 2020. Section 122 extends the 2014 Farm Bill’s Hemp Pilot Program through September 30, 2021. Oregon has operated under the 2014 Farm Bill since the beginning of its program.

ODA submitted Oregon’s Hemp Plan on August 14, 2020 to meet the October 31, 2020 deadline required by the 2018 Farm Bill. Oregon’s plan was still under review by the USDA when ODA sent the letter to withdraw the plan.

ODA will use the time provided in the extension to work with its state and federal partners and the hemp industry to resolve some of the issues and concerns presented in USDA’s Interim Final Rules (IFR). This includes the authority to conduct background checks for hemp growers. The department plans to seek legislative support during the 2021 legislative session for authority to implement the USDA Hemp Program in Oregon.

Proposed Rules
This withdrawal of the state hemp plan means ODA will not be adopting the part of the proposed rules filed with the OR Secretary of State on August 1, 2020 that deal with the state hemp plan. The rules that were for housekeeping purposes, included in the notice and public comment period, will be adopted and effective January 1, 2021. The withdrawal does not change current Oregon state hemp statutes and rules including the rule that started January 1, 2020 for all pre-harvest testing of THC to be for total THC.

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