CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia will continue to operate under the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2021 Hemp Growing Season. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the period States could continue to operate under current regulations as federal guidelines are finalized. That means hemp farmers in the Mountain State will see no changes to the current regulations for the upcoming growing season.
“As the USDA continues to finetune federal regulations, we felt it was important not to rush into new rules and regulations. With uncertainty on several key issues, we do not want to put our farmers at a competitive disadvantage,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
Currently, 21 states will continue to operate under the 2014 Farm Bill with three states opting for federal oversight by the USDA. Neighboring Virginia and Kentucky will continuing to operate under the 2014 Farm Bill while Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania have approved plans that meet the requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill. West Virginia’s state plan had been approved by the USDA to take affect October 31 of this year, but the WVDA asked to delay the implementation until September 30, 2021.
“The Department sent the USDA comments from staff and producers regarding their current rules. We hope they take these into consideration and make the necessary adjustments to help our farmers before we move forward,” said Leonhardt. “For our farmers to be successful, we need clear, concise regulations enforced equally across the country.”
The following comments were sent to the USDA regarding federal regulations: https://agriculture.wv.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/WVDA-Comments-USDA-IFR-1082020.pdf
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture protects plant, animal and human health through a variety of scientific, regulatory and consumer protection programs. The Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six statewide elected officials who sits on the Board of Public Works.