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COVID-19 caused hemp farming disruptions and conservative planning in 2020

COVID-19 caused hemp farming disruptions and conservative planning in 2020, but farmers still optimistic

As hemp and CBD companies begin to reopen and get back to work with employees on site, there are many actions they can take to keep employees and customers safe.

Jonathan Vaught, CEO and founder of plant breeder and young plant provider Front Range Biosciences in Fort Collins, Colorado, has kept operations moving since social-distancing measures were put in place in early March.

Hemp Industry Daily sat down with Vaught to find out about what kind of operational changes the company has made to adapt to hemp production in the time of coronavirus, among other topics.

Vaught recommends that hemp companies from farmers to manufacturers follow the social distancing and safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and federal, state and local authorities in reopening their businesses.

“This is hard. This is a new reality for everyone, both at home as well as in the workplace,” Vaught told Hemp Industry Daily.

“This virus is going to be with us for a while and we should all work together as a community and try to keep each other safe. But we also have to keep our economy moving and keep operations moving forward and generating revenue and creating jobs.”

With greenhouses full of stock plants for seed and clone production, Front Range Biosciences had to keep young hemp plants growing and moving out the door to supply growers as they readied their fields for hemp planting season.

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States split on following USDA hemp rules in 2020

States split on following USDA hemp rules in 2020

More states have declared that they’re going to stick with their own rules for the 2020 hemp production season, rather than follow federal guidelines on the new crop.

To date, 20 states have said they will follow the 2014 pilot rules this growing season, outnumbering the 12 that have so far received U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for their production plans under the interim final rule.

The result is that the nation will again see a patchwork of varying hemp production guidelines in 2020, despite federal efforts to streamline hemp regulations to mirror other commodity crops.

The USDA has also approved hemp production plans for 14 American Indian tribes and currently has 15 tribal plans and nine state plans under review. Five more states are working on a plan for USDA review, according to the agency.

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