American farmers, initially hopeful after the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp cultivation, are now facing challenges as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revokes hemp licenses for those also engaged in growing marijuana in states where it's legal. Some farmers argue that the USDA's interpretation of federal law has dealt a severe blow to their businesses, leading to significant financial losses. The disconnect between federal and state interpretations of the 2018 farm bill highlights the complexities faced by hemp and marijuana farmers in a market where similar products have vastly different legal statuses. The lack of clarity in legal and regulatory matters at the federal level has contributed to a decline in hemp cultivation, impacting the industry. Farmers, particularly in states without state-run hemp programs, are grappling with USDA's inconsistent enforcement of rules, resulting in the revocation of licenses for those involved in both hemp and marijuana cultivation. This situation underscores the ongoing challenges faced by small farmers, prompting concerns about the impact on rural communities and the need for legal clarity in this evolving landscape.
This story was originally published by Politico.