The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of a pilot hemp insurance programme through Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI), which is said to provide coverage against loss of yield because of insurable causes of loss for hemp grown for fibre, grain or Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The USDA has also announced the availability of the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), which looks to protect against losses associated with lower yields, destroyed crops or prevented planting where no permanent federal crop insurance programme is available.
This is the latest in a series of approvals that USDA has doled out since the crop and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. Texas, Nebraska and Delaware—in addition to the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the Fort Belknap Indian Community, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska and the Yurok Tribe—each had their regulatory plans cleared.
U.S. hemp sales could increase as much as $25 million in 2020 and by more than $100 million by 2022, according to new estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Farmers will be required to grow at least 1,000 plants on a minimum of a quarter acre, according to Ohio Department of Agriculture regulations approved in December. In addition, farmers will have to pay a proposed $100 application fee to be licensed to grow hemp and an additional $500 fee for each growing location.
The US defines industrial hemp as cannabis sativa plants containing 0.3% or less THC. Any higher than that, so to speak, and the plants are considered marijuana, which is federally outlawed. Before 2015, hemp was virtually nonexistent in terms of US agriculture, because the Controlled Substances Act lumped it along with all cannabis plants (also known as marijuana) in 1970 as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”