On June 30, 2021, the House Appropriations Committee advanced several hemp-related legislative items. In a report issued by the committee, industrial hemp production and marketing was deemed “an especially important opportunity for rural communities.”
The same committee urged the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to clarify that hemp-related businesses should be eligible for all rural agricultural grants. “The intent of Congress in Public Law 115-334 was for industrial hemp to be eligible for all USDA programs, including Rural Development,” the committee report stated.
The report continues, “Industrial hemp can significantly benefit struggling rural economies. The Committee encourages Rural Development to ensure that industrial hemp is eligible for all competitive grant programs.” The committee also proposed a significant increase in agricultural funding with $16.7 million earmarked to support the federal hemp production program.
This is the same amount listed in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposed by Pres. Biden. The House Appropriations committee also included a recommendation to USDA and DEA for more clarification and coordination on the regulation of hemp extract.
The report stated that “the Committee directs USDA to coordinate directly with the DEA to present the industry with guidance and information on in-process extracted material” to address specific concerns brought up by hemp industry stakeholders.