• Shelby McDaniel

Starting Small: How Education is the Key to Hemp's Success

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

Everyone can agree, 2020 has been an interesting year for hemp. With a general lack of education and the USDA stepping in with new guidelines, many feel like the rules are changing in the middle of the game.

Take a deep breath, and start small.

In math, you have to learn 2 + 2 = 4 before you learn 2 x 2 is the same thing. Think about hemp the same way. Start with the area of the industry you want knowledge on, and work your way out from there.

The best place to start is with the program that oversees hemp regulations in your state. For instance, as a retailer, you need to know whether or not your state allows the sale of smokeable hemp flower. Each state should have its own department overseeing hemp regulations. Have questions regarding a specific topic? Call or email them! Legal jargon can read like another language, it’s always advisable to make sure you fully understand what the regulations are. After all, you know what they say about assuming…

But wait, what about federal regulations? The USDA is requiring all states to have a USDA approved plan set in place by October 31, 2020. Some states, such as Ohio and Texas, already have USDA approved plans. To find whether or not your state has a USDA approved plan, check out the USDA website here.

Some states have already chosen to start implementing some USDA requirements for their 2020 hemp license renewals. Arkansas, for example, is now requiring all individuals with a grower’s license to report their acreage to the FSA. It is always advisable to double check with your state’s hemp department to find out what new regulations will be required to keep a hemp license in good standing.

Though it is confusing right now, change is needed. However, we cannot have effective change without proper education. Our lawmakers must have an understanding of how hemp works in order to create viable laws and regulations. Our retailers must have knowledge of what benefits hemp can have for an individual and the environment in order to successfully sell hemp based products. Our growers have to be able to know who to trust for their genetics and how to raise healthy (and legal) plants to harvest a successful crop.

Without education, changing laws are like playing dice. Some might benefit the industry, and others might set it back. Just like learning your addition before your multiplication in school, starting small and building on your knowledge is the key to the hemp industry’s success.

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