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USDA: Final hemp rules aren’t on hold — but new administration will review

Nationwide hemp rules released in the closing days of the Trump Administration aren’t on hold, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the agency will be reviewing all programs implemented by the previous administration, as is common when there is a new president.

USDA spokesman Matt Herrick told Hemp Industry Daily in an emailed statement that “we have no specific programs or rules to point to at this time that are on hold, but it’s proper for a new administration to have adequate time to review existing programs as well as those implemented by the previous administration in the final days of their tenure.”

He didn’t say whether hemp producers finalizing planting plans for 2021 should expect USDA to again open the rules for public comments.

The agency already re-opened them once, but some hemp activists are hoping USDA will take another round of feedback.

That’s because the White House issued a memo late Wednesday instructing federal agencies to consider additional 30-day comment periods for rules that have been finalized but not yet taken effect. Hemp falls into that category; the rules were published Tuesday but don’t take effect until March.

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