USDA reopens comment period on hemp regulations as lawmakers, growers worry rules could stunt budding industry

USDA reopens comment period on hemp regulations as lawmakers, growers worry rules could stunt budding industry

Bruce Perlowin, the CEO of Hemp, Inc., which is one of the largest hemp producers in the United States, told FOX Business that he is not particularly concerned about his business’ ability to survive under new regulations, but that smaller growers could be in serious jeopardy. He specifically criticized the 0.3% limit on THC in hemp plants as too restrictive and difficult to comply with, calling the number “randomly assigned” and promoting what he says is a more “logical” 1% limit.

“It’s not a bunch of hippies anymore growing marijuana that are protesting the war. That era is gone,” he said. “What you’re talking about is the American farmer, the red, white and blue farmer. The guy who is going to take it, try new crops, and you’re going to go burn his crop and plow it under? I mean think about that, he’s going to lose the farm.”

Perlowin also said that the many state-registered testing facilities across the country are more than competent to test farmers’ hemp, and that if farmers were required to exclusively use DEA facilities it would cause significant logistical problems.

“You can’t test in a DEA lab. There’s not enough of them,” he said. “So you’ve got this massive bottleneck, you know, looming in the future unless it’s changed.”

The USDA as it seeks further comment on the rules is particularly focused on those who were subject to the rules that did apply to the 2020 growing season. The deadline for the newly reopened comment period is Oct. 8.

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