High anxiety: Proposed US hemp rules worry industry

National & World News
Trevor Eubanks

FILE – In this April 23, 2018, file photo, Trevor Eubanks, plant manager for Big Top Farms, readies a field for another hemp crop near Sisters, Ore. Draft rules released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a new and booming agricultural hemp industry have alarmed farmers, processors and retailers across the country, who say the provisions will be crippling if they are not significantly overhauled before they become final. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Hemp was ushered in as a federally legal agricultural crop under the groundbreaking 2018 Farm Bill.

But now, draft rules for growing the cannabis plant closely related to marijuana have farmers up in arms.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the public comment period on its draft regulations by a month after farmers, processors and officials in nearly every state raised concerns.

Whether and how the proposed rules are reworked will have a huge impact on next year’s planting season.

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