Hemp Industry Hits Roadblock
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 8, 2019
The road to a budding hemp crop has stalled out.
Despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last year, the USDA has put a halt to reviewing any state plans to begin cultivating hemp as a commodity crop.
The Wyoming Legislature passed a bill last month that brought the state into compliance with the federal regulations, opening the door to a crop that could boost Wyoming’s agriculture industry. That’s according to Christine Bekes with the Powell Economic Partnership.
But last week the Wyoming Department of Agriculture released the news that the USDA will not promulgate rules until the fall of 2019, and will not review state plans until their rules are in place.
Bekes has been a leader in the effort to bring the hemp industry to the forefront. She says once the USDA has its rules in place, the state can benefit from this versatile crop.
The plant itself has multiple uses – from the use of its seeds and oils for nutrition; to clothing made from durable hemp fibers; to lotions and lip balms; along with biofuel and auto parts.
Bekes adds that an agriculture summit this Thursday in Casper will educate growers in the state on how they can be a part of the future of hemp in Wyoming.