The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Tuesday that hemp growers are specifically ineligible for a coronavirus relief program it’s running.
And while the stated reason for the crop’s exclusion is because it found hemp prices did not suffer a five percent or greater decline from January to April, USDA also made the notable decision to exclude hemp as one of only two commodities that won’t receive a reevaluation of eligibility if “credible evidence” surfaces that the crop’s market did experience such declines. The other is tobacco.
The list of ineligible commodities includes “sheep more than two years old, eggs/layers, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, white wheat, rice, flax, rye, peanuts, feed barley, Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, alfalfa, forage crops, hemp, and tobacco,” the department said in notice about its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
“However, for all commodities except for hemp and tobacco, USDA may reconsider the excluded commodities if credible evidence is provided that supports a five percent price decline,” the department said.
CFAP is a $19 billion immediate relief program that “includes direct support to agricultural producers.” It was established as part of the first approved COVID-19 package passed by Congress.
Hemp industry advocates have expressed disappointment over USDA’s action, arguing that like any other industry, the hemp market is experiencing unique challenges amid the pandemic and shouldn’t be written off from this program.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Kyle Jaeger on Marijuana Moment
Published: May 20, 2020
LA Cannabis News