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Hemp industry impediments

The co-founder of the South-central Wisconsin Hemp Producers Cooperative sees two major hindrances to growth in the hemp industry.

Steven Acheson says the first involves FDA regulations.

“This industry kind of boomed in its first couple years, and now we’re seeing kind of a decline across the board. That’s largely because all these mid-level and large-scale value-added producers are very hesitant to get into the CBD game because they don’t know how they are going to be regulated.”

He tells Brownfield another problem is the federal THC limit of .3 percent.  He calls that an arbitrary number that needs to be raised to one percent.

“It’s really hard to produce hemp that has high CBD ratios without increasing your THC over that .3 percent threshold. So it’s really kind of putting a choke-hold on farmers.”

Acheson says about 14 percent of the 2019 hemp crop had to be destroyed right in the field because it couldn’t pass testing.

Ag groups including American Farm Bureau have been critical of USDA’s interim hemp production rules.  AFBF has asked that THC testing be done to the entire plant, not just the flower.

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