The USDA is getting pressure from other government agencies to extend it’s period to comment on the national hemp production rules, allowing the public more time to react. The Small Business Administration (SBA) sent a letter to the U.S. Agriculture Secretary stating that the 30 day period the agency set up initially isn’t enough. The SBA is asking for the USDA to extend the period to 60 days.
The USDA reopened the comment period for the proposed rules in September. Advocates for the hemp industry were pleased to get a chance to voice their opinion while also hoping this period would delay the implementation of the rules set to start in October. However they were also concerned that 30 days wasn’t long enough of a period for them to get their points across.
The SBA is worried about the approaching harvest season and how it will effect the small businesses involved. They worry that this placed undue strain on their ability to both manage their businesses and put in the time to give the well thought out comments that the USDA was hoping to recieve.
The extension would give farmers until after their harvests and things slow down for them to then give their sincere feedback on how the rules can help them thrive. Having hard numbers from another harvest year would benefit the USDA in making a decision.
With farmers and producers seeing long delays in their logistics, difficulties with labor, and hard crunches on their time, the SBA believes that they should have one less thing to worry about.
The SBA is being joined by many other lawmakers both from individual states and federal posts, asking the USDA to extend.