The sentiment emanating from the Colorado Winter Hemp Summit on Thursday was clear; the new regulations proposed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interim final rules for regulating hemp production are too strict and threaten the future of the industry.

“After the rules were issued we saw farmers that just lost hope and decided they weren’t planting next year,” said Cindy Sovine, chair of the hemp committee for the National Cannabis Industries Association. “It’s really just unworkable.”

Brian Koontz, the industrial hemp program manager with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, has submitted comment to the USDA suggesting the maximum THC levels be increased, but that change can only be approved by Congress. According to Garrett Graff, a managing attorney at Hoban Law Group that specializes in cannabis law, that decision will not likely be addressed in the next year due to the impeachment proceedings and upcoming presidential election.

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