Crucial Flexibility Coming to Indiana Hemp Farmers

It’s no secret the hemp industry continues to work through various choke points whether it’s the weather, bad genetics or limited access to proper banking channels. Despite these challenges, Hoosier farmers and small business owners continue to be optimistic about the future of the industry. The playbook for improving economic opportunity in the whole hemp plant economy is multi-faceted. To match the scale of what is needed and to make regional markets work better for more people, we must continue to educate our regulators, our lawmakers and other stakeholders with unified messages. And that’s exactly what has been happening in Indiana.

We have been diligently working with the Indiana Hemp Advisory Committee and directly with the State Seed Commissioner to ensure Indiana takes full advantage of USDA’s Final Rule covering state hemp production programs. As a direct result of these efforts, we anticipate Indiana’s emergency rules will better reflect the nuances and realities of hemp production that will put our farmers in the best position possible to harvest their crop. Below are a few anticipated changes that will directly benefit hemp farmers:

  • Remediation: Opportunity to provide remediation options to farmers under certain circumstances. Remediation could be achieved by separating and destroying non-compliant flowers while retaining stalks, leaves, and seeds; or by shredding the entire hemp for retesting. Currently, there are no remediation options for farmers.
  • Performance-based Sampling: Opportunity to leverage different sampling requirements for broad end-use categories like fiber, grain, cannabinoids, microgreens, starts and clones. Currently, only fiber farmers
  • Compliance Sampling: Opportunity to take compliance samples from approximately five (5) to eight (8) inches from the “main stem” of the hemp plant that includes the leaves and flowers. Currently, the sample is taken from the top one (1) or two (2) inches of the plant.
  • Harvest Window: Opportunity to allow compliance samples to be taken no more than 30 days prior to the anticipated harvest date. This is double the window under the current rule of a 15-day harvest window.

We expect Indiana to submit the updated state regulatory plan to USDA for final approval in the near future. We also anticipate the changes to Indiana’s emergency rules to take effect before the state plan is actually approved to ensure Indiana farmers operate under the new-found flexibility this season. Keep an eye on your inboxes for future updates about these exciting changes coming to Indiana.

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