Omnibus Spending Bill Includes Hemp Wish List!
On December 22 both houses of Congress agreed to a historic pair of long-awaited spending bills. The $1.4 trillion omnibus bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021) keeps the federal government open until September 30, 2021, while the $900 billion coronavirus aid package provides much-needed relief to Americans, small businesses and industries. These eagerly-awaited developments mark a welcome break to months of partisan deadlock at the end of a very challenging year. President Trump signed the bill into law on December 27, 2020.
HEMP WISH LIST INCLUDED!
AgHS is excited to report that a large part of Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley’s proposed Agricultural Spending Bill was included in the omnibus bill. Having collaborated on the language for key parts of the bill and explanatory statements related to hemp, AgHS Chief Legislative Strategist Courtney N. Moran, LL.M. applauded the measure,
“We are grateful Congress is listening to the needs of the industry and taking action to resolve our concerns, including directing federal agencies to implement the Farm Bill in line with Congressional intent and to adopt rules based on science.“
What’s on the list?
Extension of the 2014 Pilot Program to 2022: a welcome response to vigorous advocacy
Continued protections for transportation, processing & sales: a long-standing issue
Acknowledgment of the hemp industry’s pain points around compliance challenges:
– too-short of testing/harvest window
– lack of alternative to DEA-registered labs
– non-representative sampling methods
Acknowledgment of the need for science-based regulations and collaboration with research institutions, providing more support for hemp research
Regulations that protect the transportation, processing, sale, or use of in-process (intermediary) hemp products
Acknowledgment of the hemp industry’s pain points around banking and instructions for the Farm Credit Association to provide access to guaranteed loans for hemp producers and businesses.
As we gear up for the 2021 Legislative Session beginning January 3, positive developments like these bring a sense of accomplishment and optimism for the future of hemp.
Join Courtney for her upcoming January presentations, where she will clarify and expand upon what these improvements will bring for the hemp community.
January 14 – Federal Hemp Policy Webinar with Greenlight Law Group, link TBA
January 22 – National Conference of State Legislators, Agriculture Task Force
January 26 – HEMPSTORY VII – Online Hemp Mini-Conference
January 30 – The Golden Grow Awards and Hemp Expo – Livestream Broadcast from Ashland Hills Hotel
We celebrate these advances for our industry in the spirit of a Happy Holiday season for everyone. We wish you prosperity and health as we all cross the threshold into a new year!