The Mills administration is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work swiftly and finalize federal rules guiding states on how they should implement industrial hemp plans.
That's something required under the 2019 Farm Bill.
Gov. Janet Mills and Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal note in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue that until the feds issue guidelines, states like Maine are not able to provide guidance for its growers and are restricted by outdated rules in the 2014 Farm Bill.
“We believe this Federal guidance will not only help provide long-needed clarification to the states but will be valuable to the broader lending and insurance industries," the two write.
The Maine leaders say they have recently learned that growers in Maine are receiving notices of bank account closures and insurance policies not being renewed because of uncertainty around federal hemp regulations.