Big Hemp News in Kentucky…With National Impact

Both historically, and more recently as prohibition has been lifted, Kentucky has played an outsized role in the development of the nation’s hemp industry.  From 19th century hemp farmer/US House Speaker Henry Clay to today’s political leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Reps. James Comer and Thomas Massie, Kentuckians have served as national leaders in legalizing, cultivating and commercializing the crop.

Today, a significant step was taken by Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles:  Quarles announced this morning that Kentucky would NOT be submitting a hemp plan for USDA approval under the agency’s Interim Final Rule (IFR), but rather would continue to operate its program under the 2014 Farm Bill authorization.  Just as with the concerns we shared here (and in our private meetings with USDA leadership), Quarles recognized that many outstanding issues remain regarding the IFR, and that these issues that are not likely to be resolved before planting season begins.  Instead, the Department will share its recommendations with the USDA as it develops a final rule, hopefully in time for the 2021 growing season.

We imagine that other states will follow Kentucky’s lead and operate under the 2014 Farm Bill authorization as the USDA listens to stakeholders and the public as it designs its Final Rule.  This would make a strong statement that the IFR needs a substantial overhaul, and given the laudable public outreach conducted by the USDA, we are confident that the agency will listen and respond.

Hemp Supporters, that’s your cue…
If you haven’t yet submitted comments to the USDA about its Interim Final Rule, the deadline is next week, January 29.  You can submit your comments here.  And please feel free to echo any of the comments the Roundtable made, which are available here

SOURCE:  U.S. Hemp Roundtable <info@hempsupporter.com>

KENTUCKY CANNABIS RALLY AT THE ROTUNDA IN FRANKFORT!

The people of Kentucky, all groups, all BILLS for Cannabis whether it be “Medical” or “Adult Use”, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent, are requested to join us in Frankfort Kentucky on March 11, 2020 to show our support for the effort in our State!

Please plan to be there!

RotundaRally3.11.20

LOCATED AT CAPITOL ROTUNDA

700 CAPITOL AVE

FRANKFORT, KY  40601

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/19rs/hb136.html

AN ACT relating to medicinal marijuana and making an appropriation therefor.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb148.html

AN ACT relating to the regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb236.html

AN ACT relating to hemp and declaring an emergency.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb221.html

AN ACT relating to marijuana possession.

https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb102.html

AN ACT relating to employment-related drug screens.

RELATED GROUPS/PAGES ON FACEBOOK!

MY RIGHT TO DECIDE

https://www.facebook.com/MYRIGHTTODECIDE/

KY4MM

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ky4mm/?ref=br_rs

KENTUCKY 411 UNCENSORED

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2091597957797912/

KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY

https://www.facebook.com/USMjPartyKY/?ref=br_rs

FREE THE WEED KENTUCKY

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1428715180676475/?ref=br_rs

Agencies clarify requirements for providing financial services to hemp-related businesses

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From Board of Governors Federal Reserve System

Agencies clarify requirements for providing financial services to hemp-related businesses

December 3, 2019 

WASHINGTON-Four federal agencies in conjunction with the state bank regulators today issued a statement clarifying the legal status of hemp growth and production and the relevant requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses.

The statement emphasizes that banks are no longer required to file suspicious activity reports (SAR) for customers solely because they are engaged in the growth or cultivation of hemp in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. For hemp-related customers, banks are expected to follow standard SAR procedures, and file a SAR if indicia of suspicious activity warrants.

This statement provides banks with background information on the legal status of hemp, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) interim final rule on the production of hemp, and the BSA considerations when providing banking services to hemp-related businesses.

This statement also indicates that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will issue additional guidance after further reviewing and evaluating the USDA interim final rule.

The statement was issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, FinCEN, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Banks can contact the USDA, state departments of agriculture, and tribal governments with further questions regarding the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) and its implementing regulations.

Joint Guidance on Providing Financial Services to Customers Engaged in Hemp-Related Businesses (PDF)

For Federal Reserve Board media inquiries please contact Darren Gersh at 202-452-2955.

Source Link

(KY) Hemp, broadband concerns brought before state panel

For Immediate Release

November 18, 2019

Hemp, broadband concerns brought before state panel

FRANKFORT—Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney said his organization’s advice for Kentucky’s growing number of hemp producers is “be careful.”

Haney told the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture today that farmers are encouraged to enter the growing hemp industry, but with minimal risk. Kentucky is still in its first five years of modern hemp production which began in 2014 under the state’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

The research pilot program is ending this year, with the state’s Hemp Licensing Program entering a new stage of commercial production in 2020.

“We tell all the producers, and have been saying all along, be careful. Go slow. Don’t risk any more than you can afford to put at risk,” said Haney. The caution comes as many farmers, he said, look to hemp as a replacement for once-reliable sources of income—like tobacco—amid today’s agriculture market disruptions and downturns.

Making hemp as profitable as tobacco once was to Kentucky farmers, if possible, will take time, said Haney.

“It would be wonderful if we could do that,” he said. “So we’re telling folks, ‘help us build the industry and don’t just try to swing for a home run.’”

Haney said the Farm Bureau has formed a hemp advisory committee to work on issues that could help farmers build the industry moving forward. That work, he said, could come in handy in any future legislative discussions concerning the farmer’s role in the hemp industry. Haney said he hopes hemp processors will take a similar approach regarding their role in the industry.

“Most of the questions about hemp that I’ve heard were not about production of hemp. It was about the processing of hemp and how we transport it, how we get paid for it, (about) the systems from the farm gate through the rest of the pipeline,” said Haney.

Rep. Joe Graviss, D-Versailles, asked Haney if the Farm Bureau’s hemp advisory committee could look into whether Kentucky farmers are being fairly compensated for their crop. He also encouraged a standard means to test hemp products, saying he would like the organization to look into “standardization in testing” of hemp products on store shelves to make sure “what is on the shelf at a gas station or a pharmacy is actually going to contain the same stuff.”

Concerns about cash flow to hemp producers also voiced by Graviss were shared earlier in the meeting with Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Executive Director Warren Beeler, who said farmers have had high hopes for hemp amid uncertainty in other agricultural markets. Now farmers are finding that hemp production brings its own uncertainty, he told lawmakers.

“We don’t know exactly where we’re going to end up,” said Beeler. “But hemp has a chance to help us. It has a chance to be maybe that tobacco that we thought we’d never have a replacement for.”

One of the most critical issues facing many Kentucky farmers, said Haney, is the need for high-speed broadband. While most Kentuckians have internet access, Haney said rural areas remain that don’t have the connection speed necessary to use high-tech apps and programs now commonplace in modern agriculture.

“If you can’t operate the device that you’re working with because the speed is so low that you can’t even download the programming … it’s pretty sad. And it’s important to our members more now than it has ever been before,” said Haney, adding that his organization will likely approach the Kentucky General Assembly for help on the matter in the future.

Sen. Stephen West, R-Paris, an attorney and cattle farmer, said internet connectivity is important to him and his constituents, including a number of rural Kentuckians with limited internet access. West said that while full implementation the KentuckyWired project—which is intended to provide gigabit-speed access statewide—is expected within the next year or so, he wonders what support there is from the private sector for improved internet speed.

“They have to address these issues to get more service out to our farmers and rural areas,” West said.

Haney said the Farm Bureau is communicating with the private sector and is “hoping to put together some stakeholders that will continue to work on this in the near future.”

END



https://kentuckywired.ky.gov/Pages/index.aspx

(KY) (HEMP) New Herbicide Approved by EPA

Kentucky Heligen 24(c) Request Approved; Can Help Control Corn Earworm, Cotton Bollworm, and Tobacco Budworm

Heligen, manufactured by AgBiTech Pty Ltd, can now be used on industrial hemp in Kentucky to aid in control of corn earworm, cotton bollworm and tobacco budworm.

This has been accomplished through a Special Local Needs (SLN) 24(c) request submitted by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) to the EPA.

Use of Heligen (EPA Registration No.: 87978-2) is approved through December 31, 2024 unless the SLN is otherwise amended, withdrawn, canceled or suspended.

Hemp producers are responsible for determining which pesticides can be used and in what manner.

KDA encourages growers to work with processors or purchasers on what will be acceptable before applying this or any product. Heligen also will be added to KDA’s online list of Pesticide Products Registered for Industrial Hemp in Kentucky.

Doris Hamilton

Industrial Hemp Program Manager

Department of Agriculture

Office of Marketing

111 Corporate Drive

Frankfort, KY 40601

2020 Kentucky Hemp Program Application Period To Open Nov. 15

View as Webpage 

Sean Southard

sean.southard@ky.gov

(502) 782-9253

For Immediate Release

FRANKFORT (Sept. 27, 2019) – Kentucky hemp growers and processors may apply for a hemp license from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) hemp program for 2020 beginning November 15, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our hemp program,” Commissioner Quarles said. “We are making significant changes to the application process for the 2020 growing season to make it work better for Kentucky’s growers and processors. 2019 will be a record-breaking year for Kentucky’s hemp program, and we expect continued growth in 2020.”

Among the major application changes in 2020:

  • KDA will accept grower applications from November 15, 2019, to March 15, 2020.
  • KDA will accept processor/handler applications beginning on November 15, 2019.
  • The KDA will host an online application on its hemp webpage, kyagr.com/hemp.
  • The new online application will include a mapping function.

“Kentucky continues to be the tip of the spear on restoring this crop, but I always remind folks that we are still in the infancy of the restoration. Challenges persist, ranging from federal uncertainty regarding cannabinol to banking and lending issues,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Any business venture – especially in a new industry – carries risk, and the hemp industry is no exception. It is important that our growers and processors remain clear-eyed about the opportunities and challenges ahead of us in the years to come.”

For those interested in learning more about Kentucky’s hemp program, KDA will host a Kentucky Hemp Summit for growers, processors, and other interested parties on December 4, 2019, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, gave hemp growers increased access to USDA programs, and outlined the minimum requirements a state regulatory framework must contain to earn approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The federal Risk Management Agency announced in August that certain hemp growers may obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Program in 2020.

For more information about KDA’s hemp research pilot program, go to kyagr.com/hemp .

SOURCE

DEA affirms hemp’s new status, sends notice that plant is legal

Published August 26, 2019

More than six months after hemp was made legal in the United States, federal drug authorities have updated their guidance to remind law enforcement that hemp is no longer a controlled substance.

A notice posted Monday by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cited the 2018 Farm Bill in noting that “certain forms of cannabis no longer require DEA registration to grow or manufacture.”

The agency went on to say that “hemp, including hemp plants and cannabidiol (CBD) preparations at or below the 0.3 percent delta-9 THC threshold is not a controlled substance.”

The DEA notice didn’t change the law or make hemp legal; that occurred last year.

But because the agency had yet to remind national law enforcement through its regular bulletins that hemp is legal, some hemp businesses found themselves fighting legal confusion about the plant’s status.

Attorneys who represent hemp clients told Hemp Industry Daily that the DEA statement is an overdue affirmation of cannabis legality.

The DEA also announced Monday that it will expand research on higher-THC varieties of cannabis classified as marijuana.

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(KY) Hemp legislation passes House Agriculture panel

For Immediate Release

Feb. 13, 2019

Hemp legislation passes House Agriculture panel

FRANKFORT—Kentucky would expand its definition of industrial hemp to match language in the recently signed 2018 Farm Bill under legislation that today cleared the House Agriculture Committee.

House Bill 197, sponsored by House Agriculture Chair Rep. Richard Heath, R-Mayfield, would expand the definition to include the seeds of industrial hemp—formally called Cannabis sativa L.—derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids and isomers, among other components. That is the same definition found in the new U.S. Farm Bill, signed into law late last year, which removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Until last year hemp was outlawed nationwide since 1970 under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The 2014 federal Farm Bill, however, allowed states to engage in hemp research pilot programs under certain conditions. Industrial hemp has been grown in Kentucky since 2014 under a state-regulated research pilot program.

The committee today also approved House Concurrent Resolution 43, also sponsored by Rep. Heath, which asks social media sites Facebook and YouTube and web marketplaces eBay and Amazon to revisit policies that some users say interfere with marketing of hemp-based products.

“Multiple industrial hemp business owners across the Commonwealth encountered an unnecessary obstruction in marketing efforts when their key marketing platforms, such as Facebook, unpublished their web pages” even through production and marketing of industrial hemp and hemp products are legal, the resolution states.

If passed by both chambers and signed by the governor, HCR 43 would formally request that the four internet companies “quickly reexamine their policies relating to industrial hemp businesses.”

Both pieces of legislation now go to the full House for consideration.

–END–

US Attorney Sues West Virginia Hemp Farm

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A U.S. attorney and his office have sued a West Virginia hemp farm for violating the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Saturday that U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart and his office are suing Matthew Mallory of CAMO Hemp WV, and Gary Kale of Grassy Run Farms.

The lawsuit says the respondents purchased hemp seeds in Kentucky and brought them over the West Virginia‘s state line. It says a state pilot program only allows hemp producers to obtain seeds internationally, via the state Department of Agriculture.

Norman Bailey, chief of staff to the state agriculture commissioner, says state laws and regulations are silent as to the source of seeds for participation in the program. He says the department is monitoring the situation and hasn’t yet decided whether to intervene.

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