growing it for fiber, I think that they’re your law enforcement and other lawmakers are gonna have a hard time swallowing that pill. So maybe in the future, we get away with inspection. But I don’t think that we’ll get there today. And as far as animal feed, like believing I’m like the animal feed geek, like I want to bet more than anyone. But that’s another problem, Like, we go through the process with ASCO to evaluate safety and efficacy of ingredients. And it’s not just hemp. It’s any crap that comes on any new ingredient, they have to go through this process. And so as much as I’d love to write in language that in one fell swoop, we get everything approved, we do have to prove that there is no concerns and that these ingredients grown under the certain circumstances and manufacture the Certain Way are safe for our animals, as well as for the livelihood of those ranchers and other people that are using that livestock. And I think that is an important process. Now, I think that there’s ways that we can circumvent some of these hoops that they want to put us through, but I think it’d be hard pressed for us to get it all in one one single bill.

 

Courtney Moran added and said. I want to echo that. I think you’ve made some really great points, Larry, but just given some of the law enforcement concerns that we’ve seen and heard and then I’m specifically working on in Oregon and that are being echoed nationally federally. And just also some of the concerns coming from different offices who were in I mean, Senate offices that were extremely supportive of 2018 farm bill language. But given some of the things that have happened in the marketplace, they are reluctant to move forward on any other types of hen policies. And so we’re trying to make this a common sense, single issue approach. And I mean, basically, everything that you’ve sent, we would love to get there. But I think a lot of that will have to be done in separate bills, and will take time to educate and alleviate fears that either were previously there or that had been reinforced based on some of the activity in the market recently.

 

Erika Stark said. And some of the inspections could be done via drone or other, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a person going and visiting the field that would be up to the Department of Ag. And they already are having to deal with compliance testing for every single field. So even though this isn’t the perfect world that we would all like to see. Obviously your comments are what we would all in a perfect world like to see. But it does reduce the burden on the State Department’s of ag by being able to do inspections versus having to deal with compliance and sampling for every single field, particularly when you look at the way that the samples have to be taken. And if you have, 1000 acre field and you happen to have a road or a stream that divides your plot, it’s actually considered two different plots. So the samples have to be taken and tested on every single section of your field. So while it’s not perfect, I think that this can pass, and it will reduce some burden, even if it’s not where we ultimately would like to take it. But we will eventually get there. But this is just the first step. This isn’t the end game.

 

Courtney Moran added a comment . And I also want to add that, in the draft that we worked on that we submitted to the legislative council, we made it really clear on what our intent is, and we have left it open. And we know we don’t know what we’re gonna get back from them. But what we have left open is for some rulemaking authority with USDA to provide some additional benefits. So for example, if USDA wanted to put out an approved variety list or a certified seed list, perhaps those particular varieties can even be exempted from that inspection. So, as known or unknown participant, unknown producer within a program, something like that. So we want to use this as kind of like the base framework to get green and fiber, the opportunity to be treated as close to traditional agriculture as possible. We’re still dealing with the Reefer Madness sphere that we’re dealing with, but then provide other additional opportunities in rural areas to create additional benefits.

 

Laurence Serbin said. I absolutely hear, I hear I hear you on all of this. It’s just a matter of, it seems like all these years, we’ve been playing their game, and we got to start playing our own game a little more insistent upon it. This is just a regular crop. And again, you want it to pass and you’re afraid that people are going to object. But in all of my years of advocacy, advocating for when you do talk to the people who will be voting on it, I guess, in this case, it will be federal members of Congress, usually explained to them and hemp is usually an afterthought in regards to marijuana, and we’re living in an age where recreational marijuana is lacking now and more than half of it so just keep that in mind. I would say just negotiate and go for more than what you think you can get. me it was a spiel about if you’re running to do a little bit of opposition, but not me are afraid to try to go for everything you want. 

 

  1. Josh Hendrix asked a question:Can anyone explain why USDA refers to hemp as an Achene instead of a grain “technically” in terms of regulatory

 

Erika Stark said. I’m just trying to see the question because I didn’t quite well I have this categorized

 

Greg Gerdeman commented and said. The seed and the practice and I think this must be related to the focus on ammonoids.

 

Erika Stark commented and said. I think it has more to do with its history. directly being maybe considered an oil seed as far as some of the imports that were allowed prior to legalization? I’m not 100% sure on that answer to be honest. 

 

Doctor Hall commented and said. I wanted to make myself available as a support resource. As a holistic veterinarian. We formed a global cannabis Veterinary Research Group some years ago, and had been planning to do some research and development in Colorado and California. That’s one thing I wanted to share. Something else is I am a former federal veterinary medical officer and I worked for USDA APHIS veterinary services for a number of years. I actually participated in writing a white paper for aquaculture courses some moons ago, just celebrating 30 years. As a veterinarian, of course, I do have a DEA license, and I don’t know who the contact is for DEA. But I’m happy to be available. And of course, the Chief Veterinary Officer of USDA. These are people that are into a relatively small circle. And, we have the American Veterinary Medical Association. And then also my alumnae that I, we pretty much decided to create this research group because of some of the headwinds that I think we all are aware of. And as far as animal feed and animal products, I feel we really must advocate and I do agree somewhat with Brother Lawrence as to come from a position of strength. And I’m totally willing to be available in any way, shape or form, whether it’s DEA or any of the legal people, and the defining and, and the educating, because a lot of this comes from ignorance. 

 

  1. Tyson Daniel commented and said I’m fascinated that it seems to me that there’s real good. There’s certainly a need for focused attention. And it looks like y’all have done really great work at getting there. I guess I suppose the criminal defense lawyer in need of recovering trial lawyers is always afraid of more regulation. And I see the benefit of streamlining things. I wonder if this language isn’t already in there somewhere. But I haven’t read the entire farm bill. So without having gone through that and looked at it. I don’t think I could really ask an informed question of the audit done such obviously great work and detailed work and studying thus far. The animal feed thing seems to me to be a particularly big issue for Virginia farmers, clients of mine, but everybody’s already touched on that and it sounds like Brody would be preaching to the choir if I were to say anything further about that. But being able to bundle that in I suppose, to Larry’s point earlier, seems like it would be a nice thing to do. Also understand the point of Outerbridge too far. So, because those are strategic decisions that sounds like you all have certainly considered and, and, and weighed and decided how to proceed. So I know thank you for allowing me to, to be here and sit in and listen or glad to be here and learn. Again, my only hesitation is more regulation and particularly penalties. I understand the need for as much self regulation as we can do as an industry. 

 

Courtney Moran replied and said. As a fellow attorney, I just want to say that, we there is no language like this already in the 2018 Farm Bill, I helped with the drafting of that, we I’ve, as an attorney, I’ve read these rules and the the statute so many times, and, we were really cautious in the drafting and  I reread through all of the case law over the last 20 plus years regarding him. Simultaneous as I was teaching a hemp law policy class this semester, and working with the team, specifically on language to ensure that some of the issues that occurred in the previous case law would not occur again, and that we weren’t creating some additional unintended consequence by the language that we’re proposing. And so, we don’t know what we’re gonna get back from Senate Legislative Council, but the draft that we put forward, has gone through a lot of thought and looking through not only previous definitions, proposed definitions from USDA, the historical case law around him to make sure that we’re really setting a framework for success for green and fiber farmers, and to alleviate the issues that we’ve heard and seen from law enforcement and to also make sure that we’re going to be able to provide a framework that can benefit folks out in the field.

 

Tyson Daniel said. Thank you for all the work that you all have done. And again, I will restate my ignorance, as it relates to, having gone through the Farm Bill, certainly, with any degree of depth, like, like you all have. So I again, it’s it, I’m not sure that I could really make an informed statement or ask a really intelligent question. Other than just what springs to mind, from a, from a immediate level, which is the regulatory one, but to your point about delivering something that you want done, doing the work, and then giving it to the people who would otherwise have to do the work, saving them the time and energy is certainly a great way to get things done with with any legislative or any government any, any people entity in power, are in power of authority

 

Courtney Moran replied and said. We’ve done our homework, and we did a lot of the background work so that they won’t have to do that and provide them the language and the framework that we would like to see going forward. And in regards to the enforcement piece, I do just want to say that, you know, it’s a strict enforcement piece just because of how we’ve seen folks already trying to circumvent our hemp programs or have circumvented the hemp programs as we have them now. But nothing precludes or prohibits a farmer from electing the standard or the existing framework that is available now. And so it’s only folks that want to make the selection, this designation that they would only be growing the grain and fiber and harvesting grain and fiber so that they could get out of these other requirements of the background checks of the sampling of the testing. But if somebody thought, hey, maybe there’s any potential that I could want to take cannabinoids off this or they’re concerned about the enforcement, they don’t have to elect to be part of this particular special program.

 

Morgan Tweet commented on Animal Feeds. She added and said.  I just want to speak to the animal feed really quickly. Again, just to let you know, back to what Erika said was like, our hope is that this can be a standalone bill, right so that we can create the designation. The Farm Bill is kind of like our plan to view what we’re going into and so I think that there’s a real possibility if we can get the designation because right now FDA CBN cannot look at hemp without seeing cannabinoids. So we have to give them the framework that looks at it as a different material and a different ingredient without that framework. They can’t blanket approve anything because all they see is cannabinoids and so with that distinction and A new definition of an industrial hemp it’s a completely different ingredient profile that I can look at. Now I can attach some language and you know, whether it’s state or federal, we can attach broader strokes of approval for multiple species or multiple ingredients. Instead of right now it’s per species per ingredient. And if you change anything in the manufacturing, like say cold pressed oil versus solvent extracted, that’s a new ingredient. And that’s a new application. So that there’s opportunities to do broader approval processes, like we’ll say all hemp seed grain derived from industrial hemp production is approved for ruminants or, or pets or special diets. I think that that’s the pathway to getting broader approval for animal feed. Thank you, Dr. Hall for willingness and willingness to support it. But unless we have a distinction that allows them to see him as something other than CBD, other than cannabinoids, they’re going to continue to restrict us to that lowest common denominator, which is their fear of cannabinoids and the safety and efficacy in species. So we have to remove that low, lowest common denominator and put them in their own category.

 

  1. Josh Hendrix: Are there concerns that the word “industrial” has a negative connotation when it comes to the food side of things?

 

Erika Stark said. And ironically, this just came up in a conversation that we had with the Senate Ag Committee just yesterday, in that they were not looking at food as industrial. So I don’t want to say that there’s a concern about it as much as it does require some explanation. And this is something that we thought long and hard about how we wanted to create this exemption. And there is just not a better word that’s as easily understandable by most people to separate fiber and grain from cannabinoid hemp without saying fiber and green fiber and green. Industrial is simpler. And while it does require that little bit of extra explanation that it does include grain, I don’t think that’s going to be any kind of hindrance moving forward.

 

  1. Freedom from Cimarron, Farmstead, Danbury, Connecticut  said, one of the things that I’m doing in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey is I’m trying to work around trade schools around hemp. Because maybe that is part of killing the stigma is that if we create some type of trade school, that is teaching people the possibilities of hemp, and how can they become part of this industry from seed to harvest to process to manufacture to sell? So I don’t know if there’s something because I don’t. I don’t see the document that you guys are talking about on the chat. So I don’t know if, if that’s something that you guys are thinking about, how can we actually incorporate trade schools into this?

 

Courtney Moran replied and said. thing right now they’re Oaksterdam University. (Oaksterdam University is self-recognized as the world’s first cannabis college. Located in Oakland, CA, the educational facility was founded in November 2007 by medical marijuana activist Richard Lee).They’re a cannabis focus university but they work on all cannabis high and low THC. So there are horticultural programs through that university business programs, a variety of different programs. So I would say right now that that’s a great resource for folks to go to, if they’re trying to learn, you know, all aspects of the plant.

 

Freedom from Cimarron, Farmstead, I’m talking about an actual trade school that’s going to teach people like incarcerated people that’ve been incarcerated for selling this plant. So if they’re going to have a trade school that’s going to allow people to learn how to manufacture hempcrete, how to manufacture things that’s a different topic. 

 

Morgan Tweet commented and said. where grant money could be part of that. So that’s a really fantastic idea and I think there’s legs to that but you like grant money specific to that would could be included in some language like we’re putting Word, If you have a project that is specific to teaching people about industrial hemp applications processing consumers, then money that’s, you know, directed from the USDA to that sector could be used for that. So we don’t have anything in our bill draft that’s specific to a trade school or education advocacy. But that’s definitely, you know, one of the doors we could open to specifically target funds for things like that.

  • How do people reach out? How do people get involved?

 

Morgan Tweet  said. Appreciate all those comments. We want to hear from you guys from the industry. Because when we go to the broader, you know, audiences, the people that aren’t in hemp, right? There’s going to be separate questions. So do you guys have any concerns or things that you say, hey, that’s like a glaring issue, or you may need to think about like, please reach out to us, I know, Courtney put her information on the chat. So please, you know, send a message to Courtney, it’ll get to the three of us. We don’t want to know, most of the most of what you heard today is like our hopes and our intent. But you know, everyone knows when it gets down to the brass tacks and like implementing, there’s always things that can get hung up. And so we really want to try to, you know, speak for the broader world and not miss anything. So if you guys have ideas or concerns, please send them to us. We know we’re not the end all be all, we haven’t seen everything. And this plant we all know is very different from different production models to different regions in this country. So if we’re talking about federal language, we need to speak for Montana and Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas, everywhere. And we’re obviously just three people. And I’ve only seen so much so please give us some feedback.

 

About Grass Application

 

Morgan Tweet said. I think we can always go back to the grass applications. We’re so fortunate that those grass notices were submitted by fresh canned foods. And that even though there may be some sticking points that you know, industrial sounds like it’s not a food product. I think we have those grass indices to lean back on as an industry to advocate and say this is already a well known industry, a well known and accepted consumer product. And so if they have any fear connotations with the word industrial, we should be able to lean on those.

 

Announcement 

Erika Stark reminded everyone. We got an email this morning from somebody from NIFA. And there is a new USDA NIFA grant that is specific to canola and hemp, just those two crops. And if you’re growing to do research for canola, you’re limited to a specific region. But the hemp opportunity is nationwide. It does have to be through a university. So if there’s any university folks here are people who are partnering with universities. It’s a almost a million dollar grant. The Intent to Submit is due on June 7, and then the proposal is due June 29. So I just just wanted to throw that out there in case there’s anybody who could take advantage of that.

 

Erika Stark announced. Look at the grant that I posted in the chat. It’s actually a new grant that’s specifically for canola and hemp. And I think what you’re talking about would actually be something that you could apply for, for this particular grant for expanding the industry. And I also know that through the NH, a social equity committee, that a lot of our people are working very closely with a bunch of HBCUs, in order to create that kind of educational content that will focus on the industrial side of hemp engineering for when it comes to harvesting equipment, education, green construction materials, and an internship program, specifically focused to minority communities and also re educating those formerly incarcerated individuals.

Mandi Kerr
Author: Mandi Kerr