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USDA releases federal hemp rules

Ag Commissioner Sid Miller expects the state Department of Agriculture to submit its plan within the next 30 days, requiring the USDA to rule on it within 60 days.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released the interim final rules for the U.S. Domestic Hemp Program.

These rules define the 2018 Farm Bill and serve as a framework for states like Texas that are planning to build an industrial hemp growing program. 

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) can now submit a state hemp plan to the USDA for approval under these guidelines.

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Miller expects TDA to submit the Texas plan within the next 30 days, requiring the USDA to rule on the plan within 60 days. 

“Thank you to my friend USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and his staff for getting these rules out sooner than expected," Miller said. "I know Secretary Perdue shares my vision that hemp is a great opportunity for our farmers and can give them the boost they need right now.”

Following approval and implementation of additional rules by TDA, a licensing plan for prospective hemp farmers is expected to move forward by early 2020.

The Texas legislature passed legislation earlier this year directing TDA to work with USDA to create an industrial hemp program.

The full Interim Final Rule can be found on the USDA's website.

WATCH: Here's how the hemp industry is changing in Texas

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