Vicente Sederberg LLP Hemp Update: April 2020

Apr 16, 2020

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Hemp Trade Coalition Sends Letter to Small Business Association

Eight hemp organizations recently sent a joint letter to the SBA administrator on behalf of hemp farmers nationwide, urging the SBA and Congress to “ensure that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers are eligible for key Small Business Administration programs, especially the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program.”

DEA Deschedules Epidiolex

Earlier this month, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) removed Epidiolex, an anti-epileptic drug that contains CBD, from the list of federally controlled substances. When the drug was approved, it was listed under Schedule V. Descheduling this prescription drug allows for easier patient access. Read more.

Hemp: A Possible Blossoming Business for America’s Small Farms

Prianka Sharma, Assistant Chief Counsel for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, published a blog about the USDA’s interim final rule, the efforts their department took to gather feedback for their submitted comments, and hemp’s potential for small businesses and small farmers. Read it here.

Coronavirus and Cannabis: Hemp Industry Updates

Hemp regulations are in flux across the U.S. as officials at every level of government work to contain the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Vicente Sederberg is closely monitoring the situation, and we are communicating with regulators to understand how these local, state and federal responses may affect hemp business operators. Stay up-to-date with recent developments and helpful hemp resources on this page.

The CARES Act: Impact on Hemp Businesses

What does the CARES Act include for hemp businesses? Learn about assistance programs, loans and other non-emergency state loans, grants and other benefits for agricultural businesses here.

Protecting Your CBD Business from Product Liability Lawsuits

With any new consumer product craze, the lawsuits will inevitably follow. The hemp-CBD industry is no exception, and the current wave of CBD-related lawsuits have primarily been product liability claims. As no company wants to find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit, there are some simple preventive steps you can take to help decrease the likelihood of this type of lawsuit and save money in the long run. Read more.

[Webinar Replay] Hemp and CBD: FDA Update and the Impact of COVID-19

We recently hosted a webinar with Kleinfeld Kaplan & Becker LLP, an FDA law and policy firm based in Washington, DC. Since 2015, VS and KKB have worked closely together in advising clients on the ever-evolving legal landscape for hemp-derived products. View this webinar replay to understand what your hemp business needs to know in this unprecedented time.

[Webinar Replay] SBA Loans and Lending for Hemp and CBD Businesses

Watch this webinar replay where VS partner Shawn Hauser and Charles Alovisetti, along with attorneys from Burns & Levinson, discuss the various SBA programs available for hemp businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

State Updates


The Colorado Water Quality Control Division is requesting feedback on draft User Plans to Comply for reclaimed water uses. One of the new uses added during last year’s rulemaking was for Edible and Non-Edible Hemp Irrigation. The draft plan is available for public viewing through May 11, 2020. Instructions on how to comment can be found on the division’s draft permit actions webpage.


The hemp industry has arrived in Florida! On April 16, 2020, the USDA officially approved Florida’s State Hemp Program, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) will begin accepting applications for hemp cultivation permits on Monday, April 27, 2020, via their website Read this article by VS attorney Sally Kent Peebles for more information.


Georgia’s Department of Agriculture began accepting 2020 Hemp Grower License applications on March 23, 2020. You can find more info on the program and the online license application here.


USDA approved Iowa’s state hemp plan on March 19, 2020. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is now accepting hemp license applications through May 15, 2020. View the program details and FAQ.

South Carolina

USDA approved South Carolina’s hemp farming state plan on March 31, 2020, the same day that the application period ended for 2020 hemp farming permits. Handler and processor permits will be accepted until the end of 2020. View program details.

South Dakota

After a year of dispute between Governor Kristi Noem and legislators, the Governor finally signed the bill to allow hemp production in South Dakota.


The Texas Department of Agriculture began accepting hemp license applications on March 16, 2020, and updated their very helpful FAQ on April 1. Need help with the Texas licensing process? VS is ready to assist!


New legislation in Utah allows licensed industrial hemp growers and processors to sell industrial biomass containing 0.3% THC or cannabinoid extract derived from industrial hemp to medical cannabis cultivators. Learn more about the new rule.

West Virginia

USDA approved the state’s hemp plan on March 31. The new rules will take effect on October 31, 2020, when the 2014 pilot program rules expire.

USDA Approvals of Tribal Hemp Plans

Since the last update, the USDA approved hemp regulatory plans for the following tribes:

  • Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Seneca Nation of Indians
  • Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

View the USDA approval status of each state and tribe hemp production plan here.

Upcoming Events

Texas NORML’s 420 Stream-A-Thon | April 20, 2020 | 12:30 p.m. CT

  • VS Senior Policy Analyst & Technical Writer, Dwight Clark, will present “Policy: Best Practices and Engaging with Legislators” at 1:40 p.m. CT.
  • VS Hemp and Cannabinoids Department Chair, Shawn Hauser, will present “SBA Loans for CBD/Hemp Businesses” at 3:35 p.m. CT.

Find out more about the event. Submit questions for the presenters here.

Hemp - Game Changers | April 29, 2020 | 1:30 p.m. MT

SXSW had some amazing content in their cannabusiness track, but the event was unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19. Nonetheless, this SXSW session with representatives from Vicente Sederberg, Canopy Growth Corporation, Patagonia, and Willie's Reserve will live on as a virtual session!

Register here to watch our panelists virtually.


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