On January 29, 2020, the comment period closed for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) interim final rule, published on October 31, 2019, to establish the Domestic Hemp Production Program. The comment period, which the USDA extended by 30 days, received over 4,000 comments from interested parties, including states, tribal governments, and hemp industry participants. Public comments questioned various facets of the rule, most notably the requirement that every hemp plot be sampled 15 days prior to the anticipated harvest, the creation of a “negligence threshold” for products that contain 0.5% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or higher, and unclear guidelines for the destruction of non-compliant plants.[1]

Throughout the public comment period, the USDA approved hemp production plans on a rolling basis. States and tribal governments that did not receive approval were asked to amend their applications. Due to complexities and time constraints, some states, such as Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Minnesota, are expected to revise their hemp production plans but operate during the 2020 growing season under the pilot program established by authority in the 2014 Farm Bill.

The Domestic Hemp Production Program attempts to balance both the autonomy of the states and tribal governments with the necessity to create a federal framework for the regulation of hemp production. The interim final rule requires states and tribal governments to submit a hemp production plan for USDA approval, establishes sampling and testing protocols, legal protection for interstate commerce of hemp, licensing protocols, and eligibility rules for federal programs, such as loan and crop insurance programs. Additional analysis about the Interim Final Rule can be found here and the 2018 Farm Bill here.

USDA’s table below[2] summarizes the submission and approval status of state and tribal hemp production plans as of January 28, 2020. Thirteen tribal governments and states have approved plans.

Tribes
Plan Status
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe Under Review
Colorado River Indian Tribes Approved Plan (pdf)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Approved Plan (pdf)
Fort Belknap Indian Community Approved Plan (pdf)
Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska Approved Plan (pdf)
La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians Approved Plan (pdf)
Navajo Nation San Juan River farm Pending Resubmission
Oglala Sioux Tribe Under Review
Otoe-Missouria Tribe Under Review
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma Under Review
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Under Review
Pueblo of Picuris Tribe Under Review
Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians Approved Plan (pdf)
Santee Sioux (Nebraska) Under Review
Seneca Nation Under Review
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Under Review
Standing Rock Santee Sioux Under Review
Turtle Mt. Band of Chippewa Indians Under Review
Ute Mountain Ute Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Warm Springs Tribe Under Review
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Yankton Sioux Tribe Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Yurok Tribe Approved Plan (pdf)

 

States
Plan Status
Alabama Under Review
Arizona Under Review
Arkansas Will continue to operate under 2014 pilot.
California Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Colorado Will continue to operate under 2014 pilot.
Connecticut Pending Resubmission
Delaware Approved Plan (pdf)
Florida Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Georgia Under Review
Hawaii Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Illinois Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Indiana Under Review
Iowa Under Review
Kansas Under Review
Kentucky State will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot
Louisiana Approved Plan (pdf)
Maine State will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot
Maryland Will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot.
Minnesota State will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot
Missouri State will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot
Montana Under Review
Nebraska Approved Plan (pdf)
New Hampshire USDA Hemp Producer License
New Jersey Approved Plan (pdf)
New Mexico Will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot
North Dakota Pending Resubmission
Ohio Approved Plan (pdf)
Oregon Pending Resubmission
Pennsylvania Under Review
South Carolina Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Tennessee Pending Resubmission
Texas Approved Plan (pdf)
U.S. Virgin Islands Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Utah Drafting a Plan for USDA Review
Vermont Will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot
Virginia Under Review
Washington Under Review
West Virginia Under Review
Wisconsin Will continue to operate under the 2014 pilot.
Wyoming Under Review