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  • Maine calls on USDA to finalize hemp guidance to support farmers

    Oct, 23, 2019

    The Mills Administration today called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finalize guidance, required under the 2019 Farm Bill, to help states like Maine implement regulations relating to the production of commercial hemp. Governor Janet Mills and Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal noted in their letter to the department that until such guidelines are in place, states like Maine are unable to move forward with their own guidance for growers and are restricted by the outdated rules governed by the 2014 Farm Bill. They also raised concerns that the regulatory uncertainly has resulted in hemp farmers not receiving the necessary supports from financial and insurance institutions, thereby stifling “the growth and aspirations of hardworking farm businesses.” 

    “Given the growth and rate at which hemp production has accelerated in Maine and across the country, and the continued confusion around federal laws, we urge you to work swiftly with the Office of Management and Budget to finalize USDA’s guidance for state implementation plans,” wrote Governor Mills and Commissioner Beal.  “We believe this Federal guidance will not only help provide long-needed clarification to the states but will be valuable to the broader lending and insurance industries.”