Hemp had been barred from eligibility for protection through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation because of its similarities to marijuana. With the passage of 2018’s Farm Bill, however, hemp officially became a legal crop for farmers — if their respective states choose to legalize hemp farming. Colorado has been allowing farmers to grow the crop without insurance for five years, after the late 2012 passage of Amendment 64 and an earlier version of the Farm Bill that okayed farmers in certain states growing hemp for research purposes as part of a 2014 pilot program.
Only farmers registered under that 2014 pilot program will now be eligible for insurance approved by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program, according to an August 27 USDA announcement. The insurance, which will be available in 2020, will cover hemp fiber, flower and seeds up to $8.5 million.