The agency setting baseline national minimums for hemp production says growers should tax themselves to promote the new crop.
A top official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Heather Pichelman, said Monday in the agency’s first address to hemp growers since releasing national regulations that the industry “has clearly shown interest” in paying fees to promote hemp.
“The idea here is that a rising tide lifts all boats,” she said.
Pichelman also pleaded with the farmers to weigh in on the USDA’s rules published last week, though she gave no details about any possible changes to the agency would consider or when.
The remarks came less than a week after the USDA dropped 161 pages of production rules outlining who can grow hemp and how it is to be tested for THC content.
The rules give states minimum requirements to regulate hemp going into the 2020 growing season.
Pichelman said up front during her talk at the Hemp Industries Association annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, that she would not answer questions about the new rules or discuss how they will work.
Instead, Pichelman reiterated the agency’s intent to help farmers market the new crop.
One of the opportunities opened up to the hemp industry upon publication of the regulations is the potential for a national research and marketing program under the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – also known as a checkoff program.
Pichelman, who leads a promotions division in the agency, did urge hemp industry members to submit comments to the USDA before Dec. 30.
“If you have a question, please share it. USDA may understand. …USDA may need further understanding, but please know, USDA is listening.”
“We take those comments seriously. We read those comments. … Let us hear your voice; let us know how (the rule) affects you. The more substance, the better, so we can really understand.”
She said industry members can contact her as a liaison if they have any difficulty with the comment period or need to contact someone within the department.
The AMS currently oversees promotion orders for 21 different agricultural industries. Some of the agency’s promotions include those for Haas avocados and blueberries as well as the famed “Got Milk?” campaign.
Federal marketing programs, once in place, are mandatory assessments for anyone in the industry who is deemed responsible to pay for it.
But the agency will not institute a checkoff tax unless stakeholders at all levels of the supply chain are in favor of it, she said.
“I’m here today talking about this because the hemp industry has clearly shown interest in a national research and promotion program,” Pichelman said.
The AMS begins a promotion by talking with industry stakeholders, then developing a proposal and opening a public comment period.
The program offers flexibility for setting up the parameters of a research and promotion plan, including how much is assessed per unit and what the unit will be that is assessed. The program can also assess at different levels of the supply chain.
For more information about the hemp rules and promotions, click here.
Laura Drotleff can be reached at [email protected]
美国农业部( USDA )的一名高级官员希瑟·皮赫尔曼( Heather Pichelman )周一在该局对大麻种植者发表的首次讲话中表示，该行业“明显表现出兴趣”支付费用，以促进大麻种植。
不到一周前，美国农业部公布了161页的生产规则，概述了谁可以种植大麻以及如何测试 THC 内容。
皮查曼在北卡罗来纳州夏洛特举行的 Hemp Industries Association 年会上发表讲话时说，她不会回答有关新规则的问题，也不会讨论这些规则将如何运作。
相反， Pichelman 重申了该机构帮助农民销售新作物的意图。
法规发布后，大麻行业面临的机遇之一是美国农业部农业营销服务（ AMS ）下的国家研究和营销计划的潜力——也被称为“结账计划”。
AMS 目前监管21个不同农业行业的促销订单。该机构的一些促销活动包括为 Haas 鳄梨、蓝莓以及著名的“ God Milk ”提供的促销活动。“竞选活动。