A recent memo from the Farm Credit Administration to farm credit banks and associations on hemp financing has a prominent hemp industry group concerned that many growers could have difficulty obtaining loans they need to expand their operations. FCA, however, says that was not its intent, and the informational memo, from FCA Director of Regulatory Policy Kevin Kramp, is merely meant to provide guidance to institutions thinking about lending to hemp operations. The National Industrial Hemp Council, which represents growers, processors and other entities in the hemp supply chain, says the Farm Credit Administration is, in essence, advising its four banks and 67 associations not to lend to hemp growers unless they are in states with USDA-approved plans. But that, NIHC says, leaves out-growers licensed under state plans authorized by the pilot program for hemp established in the 2014 farm bill. That program legalized hemp production for state-administered research and marketing programs before Congress legalized hemp more broadly in the 2018 farm bill, under which states and tribes submit their plans for USDA approval. Hemp farmers in states with neither a 2014 pilot program plan nor a 2018 USDA-approved plan are required to obtain a license directly from USDA. But Congress also gave states the option to continue operating under the 2014 program, which offers them more regulatory flexibility than the USDA regulations, and which was extended through the end of 2021 after widespread concern was expressed about testing and disposal requirements and enforcement. The FY22 Appropriations bill passed by the house last week further extends the 2014 authority through the end of 2022.
420 Intel – Marijuana Industry News, 08/04/2021 20:00:00