TENNESSEE HEMP GROWERS GET ANOTHER YEAR TO TRANSITION TO FEDERAL PROGRAM

NASHVILLE – Hemp growers in Tennessee will have more time to adjust to federal Domestic Hemp Program guidelines. The program was scheduled to take effect this year, but the United States Congress extended the current industrial hemp pilot program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill through September 30, 2021.

Tennessee will continue to operate its hemp licensing and inspection programs under the 2014 Farm Bill.

“This extension will give hemp growers more time to transition to new program guidelines and to better understand federal expectations,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Tennessee was on the forefront in providing a framework for producers to grow hemp and we see hemp as an emerging opportunity for growers and processors. We will continue to support this expanding industry and are committed to contributing to its success.”

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) 2021 hemp plan was approved by the USDA earlier this year, positioning the department to implement new federal standards. The delay allows TDA to fine-tune laboratory operations, inspection procedures, and sampling processes before transitioning to the federal program next year.

When the new federal standards go into effect next year, every hemp variety in every growing area must be tested for THC within 15 days of harvest rather than 30 days. Samples collected will be tested for total THC rather than delta-9 THC. Growers will be required to receive lot numbers from the USDA Farm Services Agency under the new program.

Tennessee has 1,800 hemp growers licensed to plant as much as 16,000 acres of hemp. TDA accepts applications to grow hemp year-round, with permits expiring June 30 of every year. For more information about hemp in Tennessee, visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/farms/hemp-industry.html

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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