The Press Herald reports…..Maine is proposing new hemp farming rules that would double a farmer’s per acre cost, allow them to grow indoors and change how the psychoactive element of their crop is measured in such a way that a quarter of them would not have been able to sell this year’s harvest.
Maine has proposed the changes to help ease the state’s 154 hemp farmers into compliance with looming federal regulations, which are more restrictive than the rules governing that the state’s three-year-old hemp program.
“There has been a lot of support for and interest in this new crop,” Ann Gibbs, Maine’s director of animal and plant health, said in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “However, we are concerned that the requirements proposed by the (federal) rules will require some major adjustments.”
Maine is proposing to continue its state-run hemp program through the 2020 growing season under its new rules before deciding whether to seek federal approval of the state program, or simply join the USDA-run national hemp program that is under development.
The proposed rules, which will be the topic of a public hearing Jan. 7 in Augusta, would keep the $100 application fee and base license rate of $500 the same, but would increase the per-acre cost from $50 to $100, with a maximum license fee of no more than $20,000.
“The proposed per acre price went up because of our concern that the new federal standards will drop the number of growers and then we will not have the revenue needed to run the program,” said Gary Fish, the state horticulturalist who oversees the state hemp program.
Read more: https://www.pressherald.com/2019/12/18/new-hemp-rules-raise-fees-change-calculations-for-thc-thresholds/