Hemp growers who are eager to do business in 2019 may have to wait more as the US Federal Government is currently on shut down.
Although the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of hemp were met with excitement, the current shut down has stifled the government’s operations and have caused a blockage on the gateway to the legalization of hemp cultivation.
Until the Federal Government reopens for business, the US Dept. of Agriculture won’t be able to approve the state’s regulations on hemp programs and the FBI will not be able to perform the necessary background checks. This could pose a problem for those who plan on cultivating hemp this year.
Growing Hemp in the US
For many years now, there have already been a growing number of states that have allowed the cultivation of hemp. This was after the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill stipulates that it’s legal to cultivate hemp on those states that have imposed agricultural pilot programs for research on the crop. Of the 35 states that have allowed hemp cultivation, 17 of them have approved the commercialization of hemp for as long as it’s within the state, despite it being federally illegal.
In order to address the issue, the 2018 Farm Bill was introduced. The bill stipulates the removal of hemp from the list of federally controlled substances. This means that the substance will no longer be considered illegal. It can be commercially produced and it will remove it from the scrutiny of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The approach was somewhat similar to healthcare, where the responsibilities of the program were shared between the federal and state governments.
The Effect of Government Shutdown
The government shutdown could affect the hemp industry in many ways. For one, it can prevent a business owner from getting his or her business underway.
Experts speculate that it could take a while before the current situation is resolved. President Trump has recently informed reporters that he intends to stall government operations until funding will be secured for the wall. One of the reporters asked him how long this will take, and he replied that it would take as long as it takes.
Cannabis advocates undoubtedly want to see progress for the sake of the thriving industry. Hemp growers, along with processors and manufacturers, are expecting to receive swift action. That way, they can proceed in their business with full confidence.
What Happens Now?
In the meantime, hemp farmers are still restricted from growing non-commercial hemp, as regulated under the 2014 Farm Bill. Furthermore, those states that don’t currently have an infrastructure for cultivating hemp won’t be able to start cultivation yet. Unfortunately, these setbacks are holding back the US from becoming the leader in the hemp industry. While some other countries are already advancing their research on hemp and the many commercial uses for the cannabis plant, the US is being left more and more behind, even more today that there’s a government shutdown.