Vicente Sederberg LLP Hemp Update: January 2020

Feb 6, 2020

New Bill Could Remove FDA Roadblock for CBD Marketing

On January 13, 2020, a bipartisan group of Representatives introduced a new bill that would expressly allow hemp-derived CBD to be lawfully included in dietary supplements and foods. The bill, HR 5587 , would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) to exempt hemp-derived CBD and hemp-derived cannabidiol containing substances from FDCA provisions barring the introduction of a food ingredient or dietary ingredient if that substance is an active ingredient in an FDA approved drug or has been authorized for investigation by FDA as a new drug.

The bill also includes a provision that would require the USDA to study and report on the “regulatory and market barriers for farmers engaged in hemp production.” Click here to encourage your Representative to co-sponsor the bill.

USDA Announces Pilot Insurance Coverage for Hemp Growers

The USDA’s pilot insurance program will provide Actual Production History (APH) coverage under 508(h) Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) for eligible producers in select counties in 21 different states (see list here). The policies insure producers against yield losses due to natural causes, like weather-related damages, insects and disease, but will not provide coverage against crop losses resulting from hemp containing more than 0.3% THC.

State Updates


On January 27, 2020, the USDA approved Delaware's state hemp plan. Registration materials and participant guides will be released on the Delaware Department of Agriculture website beginning Monday, February 7.


On January 2, 2020, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried implemented new rules regulating the state’s hemp-derived CBD industry. The new rules address pesticide use, product labeling and the inspection of products used or sold in the state. These new rules will help ensure consumer safety by ridding the market of unregulated retail products. On January 28, the new rules for hemp seed standards were also published.

Additionally, Florida is now issuing food permits for the processing and/or selling of food consisting of or containing hemp extract and CBD. If you’d like to apply to be a retail or wholesale hemp food establishment in Florida, contact Sally Kent Peebles.


Maryland Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program is now accepting applications for the 2020 growing season. Interested growers must partner with an institution of higher education or the MDA to grow hemp under this program.


On January 27, 2020, the USDA approved Nebraska's state hemp plan. License applications for 2020 will be available on the Nebraska Department of Agriculture website beginning Monday, February 3. Stay tuned.

New Jersey

After its plan was approved by the USDA, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has released its hemp rules. Growers and processors can submit applications now. Contact us if you need assistance with your application.


The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s 2020 hemp program is now accepting applications from both commercial growers and processors. The application period is open through April 1, 2020. Contact us if you need assistance with your application. 


On January 27, 2020, the USDA approved the Lone Star State's hemp regulatory plan. This comes after the Texas Department of Agriculture's recent hearing for public comment on the state’s hemp regulations. The public comment addressed many items, including addressing seed certification, timelines for processing regulations, and details about insurance coverage. Watch the recorded live stream from Informed Texas here. Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller also released a short video where he offers advice to farmers to help them prepare for the upcoming growing season.  

USDA Approvals of Tribal Hemp Plans

On January 27, 2020, the USDA approved hemp regulatory plans for the following tribes:

  • Colorado River Indian Tribes
  • Fort Belknap Indian Community
  • Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
  • Yurok Tribe
Upcoming Events
  • If you’re going to Boston for the NCIA Northeast Cannabis Business Conference on February 19 and 20, don’t miss the panel, “Hemp in the Northeast: Challenges for the Supply Chain,” which features Jonathan MacDougall of Baygrown Farms and Laura Boehner of The Healing Rose. Jennifer Cabrera will moderate.

  • Sally Peebles will present “Marijuana and Hemp in the Sunshine State” CLE for the Florida Association of Women Lawyers on February 25. 

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