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Maine taking last comments about hemp farming rules

January 20, 2020 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine agriculture officials are taking the last of the comments about changes to the rules that regulate the state’s growing hemp industry.

The state has said the new rules are designed to help growers in the state ease into compliance with new federal rules, which are also in development. But some growers in the state have criticized Maine’s changes because they would result in stricter testing standards and higher fees.

Maine is taking comments on its proposal until Jan. 20. The state also held a public hearing on the subject on Jan. 7.

Many are wrestling with changing rules about hemp in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill, which directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create national regulations for the production of the plant. The popularity of products made from hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, has spurred greater interest in hemp.