Hemp industry stakeholders are celebrating the introduction of a House of Representatives funding bill that would extend a 2014 pilot program for the crop until 2021.

While the 2018 Farm Bill more broadly legalized hemp, it required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop regulations for the market—and many farmers and processors have expressed concern about certain proposed rules. Industry groups, lawmakers, and producers have been asking USDA to extend the earlier, 2014 Farm Bill pilot program, which they consider to be more flexible.

That program is set to expire on October 31. But if the new continuing resolution to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown is approved, it would stay in effect until at least September 2021, also pushing back the implementation of USDA’s interim final rule on hemp and its derivatives.

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