After Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici raised concerns about funding for industrial hemp pilot projects last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken a key step by clarifying which industrial hemp research programs are eligible for existing federal funding.
The guidance from the USDA provides a response to a bicameral letter the legislators sent last year for funding for industrial hemp research pilot projects. Specifically, it clarifies that industrial hemp would be eligible for National Institute of Food Agriculture (NIFA) funding, though research must take place in one of twenty-eight states with certified pilot industrial hemp programs. Eligible applicants are institutes of higher education and state departments of agriculture.
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