U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said she expects federal agriculture officials to work with hemp farmers and possibly even delay new regulations that New York says are “unreasonable.”
State regulators say they won’t try to regulate hemp production themselves because of the new federal rules. Farmers say that leaves them unprotected from strict regulations that could make them criminals for a bad batch of hemp.
But Gillibrand says she has bipartisan support, including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to protect the hemp industry.
“Right now, there is bipartisan support to have hemp production be fully legalized. So I am optimistic that the federal regulations will proceed positively, and then in the next farm bill we can do whatever reforms are still necessary,” Gillibrand said.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Agriculture and Markets says it will help hemp farmers transition to USDA licensing for the next season, starting October 31.