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Minnesota Industrial Hemp Association Federal Farm Bill Priorities

Updated: Mar 8




Access to Capital

 

Investment capital and affordable credit continues to be a major impediment to growing a legal and well-regulated hemp crop.  Just as with other commodity crops under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), if hemp, and derivatives thereof, fall within the legal definition as provided in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-334), then the crop should be eligible for credit, research, economic development, and rural development purposes. 

 

Specifically, the MIHA supports growers of industrial hemp being eligible for United States Department of Agriculture USDA direct, loan guarantee and grant programs, including the Business & Industry (B&I) Loan Program, and specialty crop research grants.

 

Research

 

There is great potential for industrial hemp to be utilized as a rotational crop and there is need for new varieties.  The MIHA supports private-public partnerships that will foster research and promotion of industrial hemp food and fiber variety development.

 

Crop Insurance

 

The MIHA supports a wide range of strong risk-management tools for industrial hemp producers, including a viable crop insurance program.  Absent a viable crop insurance program, many young and beginning producers, who traditionally have less collateral and equity, would face additional challenges in obtaining financing.

 

Indoor Agriculture

 

Undercover production is important for the future of the industrial hemp sector, including the breeding of genetics and certified seed.  The MIHA supports eligibility for these facilities within current USDA programs.

 

Grain and Fiber Exemption

 

The domestic hemp production program is subject to rigorous oversight to include an extensive testing protocol during the crop’s grow cycle.  Common sense dictates that certain end uses of the crop may not warrant all test protocols, and to that end, the MIHA supports an exemption for hemp grain and fiber from being subjected to the full suite of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol testing.

 

USDA “Stamp of Approval”

 

The MIHA supports a USDA “Stamp of Approval” for hemp shipped between the various jurisdictions in the United States in order to facilitate interstate commerce, as well as acceptance of hemp products that meet the USDA Bio-Preferred status into government buying programs. 

 

Ability to Repurpose Hemp

 

The ability for producers to repurpose hemp that tests above the 0.3% THC limit for use in construction materials, plastics, and other purposes is warranted.

 

Drug Felony Ban

 

A review of the drug felon ban, which precludes individuals convicted of certain drug crimes from growing hemp for 10 years is in order.

 

The Minnesota Industrial Hemp Association (MIHA) is a broad coalition of businesses and individuals who advocate for the re-emerging industrial hemp sector from field to consumer. For additional information, please contact the MIHA at info@mnindustrialhemp.com.

 

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