Tester effectively forced the U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) to concern new guidance and enable Montana producers to acquire their hemp seeds from Canada. Prior to Tester’s push, farmers weren’t permitted to acquire hemp seeds as a outcome of USDA’s inaction to approve the State of Montana’s updated hemp increasing plans.
*“This welcome news will make certain producers can acquire and clean their seeds in time to get them in the ground this spring,” Tester stated. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and our Montana farmers produced their voices heard ahead of we suffered from a lost increasing season.”
Earlier Tester received assurances from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that Montana farmers will be in a position to import hemp seeds by means of the northern border—putting an finish to the uncertainty that clouded a lot of farmers who are applying hemp as a rotational crop.
Montana farmers have been increasing hemp by means of a restricted pilot plan considering that 2014, mainly because the crop was nevertheless thought of a controlled substance till late final year. In December, Tester helped pass the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) list of controlled substances, creating it legal to develop industrial hemp in the U.S.-pending the USDA’s approval.
Having said that, the USDA has refused to approve any state hemp increasing plans till later this year—which left Montana hemp growers in limbo as planting season starts. Tester named out USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue last week more than the agency’s failure to give Montana farmers the green light to plant hemp this increasing season. With USDA punting the choice till later this year—and DEA’s removal from regulating industrial hemp—Tester turned to CBP to make certain that farmers have adequate time to acquire, clean, and plant hemp seeds this spring.
Tester was the 1st member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to ask federal agencies to address this concern in a March 12 letter to USDA Secretary Perdue and sent his latest letter on this concern to CBP Acting Commissioner Sanders earlier this week.