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Commissioner Miller Announces Federal Hemp Rules Released (10/29/2019)

For Immediate Release:
October 29, 2019

COMMISSIONER MILLER ANNOUNCES FEDERAL HEMP RULES RELEASED
New Farm Bill rules are major step on road to growing industrial hemp in Texas

AUSTIN, TX - Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced the USDA has released the interim final rules for the U.S. Domestic Hemp Program. These rules define the 2018 Farm Bill and serve as a framework for states like Texas that are planning to build an industrial hemp growing program. With these guidelines in place, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) can now submit a state hemp plan to USDA for approval.

“This is the big leap forward we’ve all been waiting for,” said Commissioner Sid Miller. “I want to make it clear – it is still not yet legal to grow industrial hemp in Texas. But we are one step closer to allowing farmers to get this exciting new crop in the ground.”

Commissioner Miller expects TDA to submit the Texas plan for an industrial hemp program in thirty days or less. The USDA has up to sixty days to approve the plan. Following the approval of the Texas plan, and the implementation of additional rules by TDA, a licensing plan for prospective hemp farmers is expected to move forward by early next year.

“Thank you to my friend, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and his staff for getting these rules out sooner than expected. I know Secretary Perdue shares my vision that hemp is a great opportunity for our farmers and can give them the boost they need right now.”

Commissioner Miller has been a staunch supporter of legalizing industrial hemp for the positive economic benefit it can offer Texas farmers. Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature passed legislation directing TDA to work with USDA to create an industrial hemp program.

The USDA interim final rule can be found here.

For more information, please visit the TDA Hemp Update page.

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