On March 13, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) will host a webinar listening session to solicit initial input about the development of regulations regarding the production of hemp. USDA notes that “[t]he purpose of the listening session is for [USDA] to hear from the public; this is not a discussion with [USDA] officials or a question-and-answer session. The purpose is for [USDA] to receive public input that the agency can factor into discretionary decisions that need to be made to implement the specific provision of the 2018 Farm Bill.” More information about webinar registration and comment submissions can be found below in the full Federal Register notice (84 Fed. Reg. 7868 (Mar. 5, 2019)).
Federal Register Notice:
Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.
In preparing to implement the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will host a listening session for initial public input about a new program to regulate hemp production. The listening session will provide interested parties with an opportunity to assist the Agency's future rulemaking efforts by sharing their views on how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can partner with agriculture agencies representing states, territories, and Indian tribes to implement a nationwide program for overseeing the production of industrial hemp.
Listening session: The listening session will be on March 13, 2019, and will begin at 12:00 p.m. and conclude by 3:00 p.m.
Registration: You must register by March 11, 2019, to speak during the listening session and to provide oral comments during the listening session. Register in advance for this webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L2G9K7cXTkayQ2O1_0AP0g. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Comments: For those presenting comments at the online listening session, a written copy of your comments is due by March 11, 2019. You may use firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your written comments via email. AMS will make the agenda for the session available on the website by March 11, 2019.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Andrew Hatch; phone: (202) 720-6862 or email: email@example.com. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
On December 20, 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 115-334) was signed into law (see https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2/text). The Secretary of Agriculture and the respective USDA agencies, including AMS, are working to implement the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill as expeditiously as possible to meet the needs of producers and other stakeholders. To allow for public input and ensure transparency, it is important to hear from stakeholders regarding their priorities, concerns, and requests.
The purpose of the listening session is for AMS to hear from the public; this is not a discussion with AMS officials or a question-and-answer session. The purpose is for AMS to receive public input that the agency can factor into discretionary decisions that need to be made to implement the specific provision of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The listening session will begin with brief opening remarks from AMS. Individual speakers providing oral comments will be limited to 3-5 minutes each, depending on the number of people who register to speak. As noted above, we request that speakers providing oral comments also submit a written copy of their comments prior to the session. All stakeholders and interested members of the public are welcome to register to provide oral comments.
Instructions for Participating in the Listening Session: Space for participation during the online listening session is limited to the first 1,000 registrants. All persons wishing to participate must submit their comment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 11, 2019. In addition to your comment, please include the following in your submission:
- First and last name
- Address (City and State)
- Email address
- Phone number
If you require special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, use the contact information above. The listening session location is accessible to persons with disabilities.
Dated: February 28, 2019.
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-03912 Filed 3-4-19; 8:45 am]
This advisory is a publication of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Our purpose in publishing this advisory is to inform our clients and friends of recent legal developments. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as a substitute for specific legal advice as legal counsel may only be given in response to inquiries regarding particular situations. Manufacturing, cultivation, distribution and possession of cannabis remains illegal under federal law and under certain state laws, and is strictly regulated in those states which have legalized medical or recreational cannabis.