Vicente Sederberg LLP Hemp Update: August 2020

Aug 24, 2020

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Federal Updates


DEA issues Interim Final Rule Implementing 2018 Farm Bill

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued an interim final rule (IFR) implementing conforming changes to DEA’s regulations as a result of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (i.e., the 2018 Farm Bill), effective immediately.

These rules contain changes in federal law that directly impact the business operations of many hemp processors and other businesses. We are available to discuss how these rules may impact your operations, and we encourage hemp businesses to submit comments to the DEA.

You can submit comments on the IFR through October 20, 2020 by clicking here and following the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. To ensure proper handling of comments, you should reference “RIN 1117- AB53/ Docket No. DEA-500” on all correspondence. Read more on this topic.


Sen. Chuck Schumer Pushes USDA to Delay Hemp Rules Until 2022

The top Democrat in the Senate is asking the USDA to delay issuing final regulations for hemp until 2022, citing stakeholder concerns and the challenges of state compliance that have arisen due to the coronavirus pandemic.Read about Sen. Schumer's letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.


Hemp Advocates to White House: Remove Drug Exclusion Barriers and Let FD&C Act Work

Hemp advocates met with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which is in the process of reviewing FDA’s policy guidance for CBD and cannabidiol enforcement. Read about VS partner Shawn Hauser’s participation in this Hemp Industry Daily article.



General Updates


AAFCO Updates Guidance on Hemp in Animal Food

On July 16, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) updated its guidelines to say, “As of July 2020, hemp and hemp products may not be used in animal feed or pet food in the United States.”


Lessons Learned from Recent Hemp and CBD Litigation: They Went to Court so You Can Stay Home

The past year has seen an uptick of hemp and CBD-related lawsuits across the country. While the rise in CBD class actions grabs headlines—due in part to courts deciding to stay litigation pending the outcome of the FDA’s rulemaking process—many equally important but lesser publicized hemp and CBD-related cases have been filed. Read this insight from VS attorneys Michelle Bodian and David Kramer for hemp business lessons learned.



State Updates


USDA Asks Six States to Resubmit Hemp Regulatory Plans

The USDA rejected hemp plans for California, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah and has asked the states to make revisions and resubmit compliant hemp plans. Read the article here.



Georgia's governor signed a bill that regulates the state’s new hemp farming industry by increasing processing fees, setting transportation rules and allowing out-of-state hemp sales. Read more.



Minnesota Congressman Collin C. Peterson announced that the House Committee on Appropriations approved his amendment to extend the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program that was included in the 2014 Farm Bill through September 30, 2021. Hemp farmers in Minnesota planted this year’s crop under the pilot program rules that are currently set to expire September 30th of 2020. 



The Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act was signed into law; however, the state did not have the necessary funding to implement a state plan due to COVID-19. Farmers interested in growing the crop for the 2021 season can apply for an individual producer license under USDA plan through October 1, 2020. Guidelines for the program and applications can be found here.


New York

New York Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Richard Ball sent a letter to stakeholders informing them that they would not submit a federal hemp cultivation plan in conformance with the 2018 Farm Bill. Read more.



Oregon’s Department of Agriculture announced that its draft rules are available for public comment and the Department will hold a hearing in October for these proposed rules. If approved, these rules will go into effect January 1, 2021. The deadline for comments is Friday, October 16, 2020. Please contact us if you’re interested in submitting comment, as it is important to participate in the comment period. 



Four Texas companies are suing to overturn the state’s new ban on the manufacture and sale of smokable hemp products, which they warn will shut Texas companies out of a multibillion-dollar industry and lead to inaccurately labeled products on store shelves. On August 19, these companies (the plaintiffs) and their attorneys participated in a temporary restraining order hearing. Learn more about the Texas Hemp Legal Defense Fund, a collaborative effort of the hemp industry to protect our mutual legal interest including fighting costly and unnecessary regulations.
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) launched the Consumable Hemp Program to regulate the manufacturing, processing, distribution and retail sale of consumable hemp products. DSHS is currently accepting applications online for consumable hemp product licenses and retailer registrations. 


USDA Approvals of State and Tribal Hemp Plans

Since the last update, the USDA approved hemp plans for the following states/territories/tribes:

  • Minnesota
  • Tennessee
  • Puerto Rico
  • Maryland
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community

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



International Updates


Some WHO Cannabis Recommendations Draw Strong Opposition at Recent UN Meeting

Two of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cannabis scheduling recommendations might face an uphill battle getting adopted later this year by the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Read more.


USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds from China

USDA announced to stakeholders that people across the US have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working closely with federal and state departments to investigate. Details available here.


European Commission Suspends Novel Food Applications for Non-synthetic CBD Products

The European Commission has suspended so-called novel food applications for non-synthetic CBD products while it considers whether to label the ingredients as narcotic-related. Approximately 50 applications are paused by the Commission during the feedback period, which ends in September. Read more.





Global Hemp Day | August 26

Courtney Barnes will participate in Canna-Tech’s Global Hemp Day on Wednesday, August 26 at 12 p.m. ET. This conference is taking a virtual deep dive into the hemp industry. Register here!

Webinar Replays

You can now watch these session replays on-demand

Hemportunities: State and Federal Funding Opportunities for Hemp Businesses – Click here to watch!

Protecting the Hemp Industry’s Future - Click here to watch!


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