This information was provided by prnewswire
Send your Press Release here.
AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Oversupply and an inability to export medical and recreational marijuana across state lines lead many Oregon farmers to shift their focus towards hemp, the non-intoxicating cousin to marijuana. Without the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and common-sense policy by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), hemp faces the same potential downfall as marijuana. Direct action to save Oregon hemp by sending your comments to ODA by close of business Friday, October 5th.
The 2014 Farm Bill allows institutes of higher education to conduct research but Oregon State University (OSU) is still prohibited from discussing hemp due to concerns that involvement could threaten the University’s federal funding. State land grant universities working in conjunction with the USDA, are responsible for auditing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP). The problem for Oregon hemp appears to stem from the lack of direction from the state legislature to OSU and ODA to establish hemp specific GAP and GHP required by major food retail distributors. Without these standards the ability to sell hemp in large retail outlets, in and out of state, remains questionable. The hands-off policy of OSU, and the understaffed and underfunded ODA, inhibits the development of best practices and stifles the growth of a flourishing new industry. Your comments could help change this.
Oregon is known around the world for having the highest quality and most desirable products both in biomass and seed. This notoriety comes primarily from the concentrated genetic experimentation and unique growing climate of the region. Recently OSU started a seed certification program, but to participate seed growers would have to provide the origin of all seeds entering the program. To comply with these nonsensical protocols, seed growers would have to trace seed back to where the plant is native (Asia or North Africa). These protocols are obviously not within the realm of reality, so who is OSU instituting this program for? Seed certification, at its core, is designed to protect farmers and should be tied to institutional research showing consistency. Oregon has the opportunity to lead and harmonize good practices as new states like Texas begin growing.
Agriculture and seed certification are inherently local from soil, seed, climate, latitude, and growing season and hemp is no different than any other crop. If Oregon farmers can show state and a seed tests below 0.3% THC, they should be able to enter seed into the certification program. If proven, seed should be available for sale to farmers in all complaint states and countries. Without a common-sense policy, the legal sale of Oregon seed and finished products uncertain.
Additional concerns at the September 25th public hearing related to OLCC style testing requirements, human consumption, and USDA organic certification. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp will be removed from the Controlled Substance Act and open to all U.S. Markets. Will Oregon miss the boat, or captain the ship?