Harvest is behind us for 2020 if you grow outdoors. At least I hope so! What is an “unprecedented” year is unfolding with a bunch of news that is too important to miss.
(Side note by Dave, looking for content writers and web developers to help. There is much to do and not enough time.)
Let’s get into the news…
Senate Action on 1% Definition
Senator Rand Paul is in the news with a bill to amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. This Act is cited as “Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan Act of 2020.” You can read the full bill here.
There is language in there about certified seed that has some concerned, but the good news is the Act would bump the definition of hemp to Cannabis Sativa with 1% or less THC. That would eliminate much risk from farmers, a much needed move. So far all the legislation has accomplished is to make it more expensive and more risky. Not a diretion to get the industry going. The Act also puts the burden of testing on the end product, where it should be.
Gina Alessandri set to retire
MDARD has been a great partner through this journey to bring about the hemp industry. They stepped up and formed a path for us to grow in 2019 under the Research Pilot Program. They are jumping quickly through the hoops to conform with the onerous USDA rules. Gina has been there. You have probably met her. She has been around the state talking to hemp farmers and looking for input. We will miss Gina, but we have her around through planting season at least!
Thanks for your hard work Gina!
Here is the press release:
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is pleased to announce Molly Mott will serve as the Industrial Hemp Program Specialist effective December 27, 2020. She is joining MDARD’s Industrial Hemp Program Director Gina Alessandri, who will be retiring in June 2021. This addition comes at an exciting time for Michigan’s industrial hemp industry, following the United States Department of Agriculture approval of the state’s industrial hemp plan which began December 1, 2020.
Molly has been with MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division for 20 years, serving in many important roles including, Pesticide Inspector, Nursery Inspector, Emerald Ash Borer Regulatory Lead, and Pesticide Lead Inspector. Most recently, Molly served as the division’s Pesticide Enforcement Program Specialist, a role she has excelled in since 2017. Molly brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in program management, procedure writing, law interpretation, compliance assistance and enforcement and we are excited to have her as part of the industrial hemp program.
Please join us in welcoming her to the Industrial Hemp Program team! You can contact Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 248-521-0501.
Hemp Certification Plan
Confidence in hemp and CBD/CBG, etc. products is key to building this industry. The U.S. Hemp Authority has a plan to provide a path for certification. You should review and comment on this if you have an interest in hemp products.
The U.S. Hemp Authority is undertaking a revision of its Standard (heretofore known as the Guidance Procedures v2.0) in line with the Terms of Reference the Board of Directors established for this process in early 2020.
An initial draft for public consultation was released beginning September 2020, with comments received for the subsequent 6 weeks. Numerous comments were received, and all were duly considered. A summary of the comments along with the U.S. Hemp Authority’s response to them, is published here.
The comments have resulted in a progressed draft version of the Standard, which is now released for an additional public comment round. The draft is available for viewing using this link.
Midwest iHemp Expo
Working hard on building out a great expo. We are doing things different that what you have experienced in the past with Virtual events. This will be a long term resource and gathering space that you don’t want to miss. Follow the progress at https://midwestihempexpo.com
Now, back to work. We have a lot to do!