Unicameral Update – February 5, 2020 

The Agriculture Committee heard testimony Feb. 4 on a bill that would update the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act to harmonize it with new federal regulations.

The Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, which the Legislature passed last year, requires the state Department of Agriculture to submit such a state plan to the USDA and to establish, operate and administer a program to license and regulate those who cultivate, process, handle or broker hemp.Congress legalized the cultivation and sale of hemp with the 2018 Farm Bill. States that wish to regulate hemp production first must submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval.

Sen. Steve Halloran, sponsor of LB1152, said the bill would make the act consistent with state plan specifications in a USDA interim rule published last October and also make it easier for the state Department of Agriculture to administer the program. Read Article