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Hemp

USDA Issues Final Rule On Hemp

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the final rule regulating the production of hemp in the United States. The final rule incorporates modifications to regulations established under the interim final rule (IFR) published in October 2019. The modifications are based on public comments following the publication of the IFR and lessons learned during the 2020 […]

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the final rule regulating the production of hemp in the United States. The final rule incorporates modifications to regulations established under the interim final rule (IFR) published in October 2019. The modifications are based on public comments following the publication of the IFR and lessons learned during the 2020 growing season. The final rule is available for viewing in the Federal Register and will be effective on March 22, 2021.

“With the publication of this final rule, USDA brings to a close a full and transparent rule-making process that started with a hemp listening session in March 2019,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “USDA staff have taken the information you have provided through three comment periods and from your experiences over a growing season to develop regulations that meet Congressional intent while providing a fair, consistent, science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers. USDA staff will continue to conduct education and outreach to help industry achieve compliance with the requirements.”

Shawn Hauser, partner and chair of the Hemp and Cannabinoids Department at Vicente Sederberg LLP said, “The transition from prohibition to a legal and regulated system takes time, and USDA’s final rule is a historic step forward for hemp in the U.S.  Many are justifiably disappointed by the DEA’s continued (and in some ways expanded) role in the agricultural hemp program, but there were also a number of positive improvements. The expanded harvest window, alternative disposal/remediation authorizations, and increase of the standard of negligence to 1% will be critical to building a successful hemp industry, and they indicate the USDA gave meaningful consideration to stakeholder’s comments. We are undoubtedly making progress, and we will continue to work with regulators and through Congress to perfect the regulatory structure for hemp.”

Key provisions of the final rule include licensing requirements; recordkeeping requirements for maintaining information about the land where hemp is produced; procedures for testing the THC concentration levels for hemp; procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants; compliance provisions; and procedures for handling violations.


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Source: https://www.greenmarketreport.com/usda-issues-final-rule-on-hemp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=usda-issues-final-rule-on-hemp

Automotive

Week in Review: Copper price strength; January auto sales; securing supply chains

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including coverage of the copper price, how the Biden…

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list of commodities prices, including copper price, silver price, oil price and gold price

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including coverage of the copper price, how the Biden administration will handle the former Trump administration’s metals tariffs and much more.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Week of Feb. 22-26 (copper price, aluminum tariff and much more)

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/agmetalminer/~3/c6KzTWolwL8/

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Automotive

New McLaren Carbon Fibre Lightweight Architecture Platform Used to Build Artura

The hybrid Artura is the next step in the evolution of vehicles at McLaren. Not only is the McLaren Carbon Fibre Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) new, but the high-performance hybrid powertrain is a fresh element as well. McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt described the Artura, “The next-generation hybrid supercar. A distillation of everything we’ve ever learned.” […]

The post New McLaren Carbon Fibre Lightweight Architecture Platform Used to Build Artura appeared first on Composites Manufacturing Magazine.

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The hybrid Artura is the next step in the evolution of vehicles at McLaren. Not only is the McLaren Carbon Fibre Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) new, but the high-performance hybrid powertrain is a fresh element as well. McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt described the Artura, “The next-generation hybrid supercar. A distillation of everything we’ve ever learned.”

The Artura is lightweight and strong thanks to the carbon fiber monocoque at the center of the new MCLA platform. Utilizing four new kinds of carbon fiber, a new resin system, and new core material, the MCLA platform provides the stiffness and strength needed for the high-performance vehicle. The Artura also features a carbon fiber windscreen surround.

Carbon fiber and superformed aluminum add a seamless look to the Artura. The vehicle is sculpted with details such as hidden door inlet ducts to harness airflow and the rear spoiler and diffuser add to downforce for stability.

The 671 horsepower for the Artura is provided by a new twin-turbocharged V6 engine with an 95PS E-Motor. The car can reach a top speed of 205 mph.

Options on the Artura include the MSO Carbon Fibre Pack with a gloss carbon fiber front splitter, diffuser, rear bumper, and door mirror casings, and the MSO Carbon Fibre Interior Pack providing carbon fiber extended gearshift paddles, a steering wheel clasp, window switch surrounds, extended sill finishers, and central tunnel bridge.

The brakes on the Artura are carbon-ceramic discs and the tires are Pirelli P-ZERO™.

All of this style and power weighs in at a curb weight (fluids + 100% fuel) of only 3,384 lbs.

Speaking on the Artura and the new technology, Mr. Flewitt said, “We pioneered ultimate performance hybrid technology with P1™ and Speedtail. Artura is the pure distillation of our collective expertise and experience. It’s the next generation McLaren.”

Source: http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com/2021/02/new-mclaren-carbon-fibre-lightweight-architecture-platform-used-to-build-artura/

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Hemp

State Agriculture Regulators Support Raising Federal THC Ceiling for Hemp

On Thursday, a group of state agricultural regulators swiftly voted in favor of supporting an amendment to the “federal definition of hemp to increase the total THC concentration to 1% or less,” a major proposed shift. Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) met this week to discuss a number of […]

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On Thursday, a group of state agricultural regulators swiftly voted in favor of supporting an amendment to the “federal definition of hemp to increase the total THC concentration to 1% or less,” a major proposed shift.

Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) met this week to discuss a number of policy amendments, including COVID-19 responses and racial equity, workplace safety, and hemp. Should the powerful group’s push to increase the THC limit succeed, it would reshape the US hemp landscape. The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp in the United States, currently defines hemp as cannabis with .3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Bill Richmond, the head of the US Department of Agriculture’s Domestic Hemp Production Program, spoke on Wednesday at the start of the Plant Agriculture & Pesticide Regulation Committee meeting, during which the hemp proposal was put forth and passed for a full Association vote Thursday. 

Richmond leads the team in charge of rule making, public education, and outreach efforts with state agriculture departments and Indian tribes. 

Shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill passed, Richmond said that his team “jumped right into developing” rules. In January, the USDA released its final rule for the regulation of hemp. After the interim final rule was released in 2019, more than 6,000 comments poured in during the open public comment period. NASDA is among the individuals and entities that have called for fixes to the rule, and, among their suggestions was that the “negligence threshold” for THC be raised to 1%.

Richmond thanked NASDA members for the time they spent on thoughtful comments that the USDA used in their rule making on hemp. 

“I know it’s an incredible lift for folks to give us those documents, to give us that data, and just know that we appreciate it so much,” Richmond said. The final rule is a result of those thousands of comments, he added. 

“Your industry is loud and clear that a lot of the requirements and regulations of the interim document were difficult to meet or expensive to meet or cumbersome. And so we really tried hard to loosen some of the requirements around growing hemp,” Richmond said. 

Richmond said that his team at the USDA spent the most time on sampling and testing requirements. Another change between the interim rule and the final rule is around the timeframe allowed between hemp harvest and required sampling. 

“We said that that time period can only be 15 days,” in the interim rule, which led to “almost universal opposition to that requirement. We heard you loud and clear until that time window is now doubled to 30 days,” Richmond said. 

In the interim final rule, one area that was met with opposition from hemp industry stakeholders involved the requirement that labs have to be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

“We learned very quickly that there was nowhere near enough labs out there to be able to conduct testing. DEA allowed us to relax that requirement. And in the final rule, essentially, we were not able to completely remove the requirement that labs have to register with the DEA. But we were able to extend the deadline until the end of 2022. This will hopefully give us, and the testing community, more time to be able to make sure that we have as many labs as we need to get these tests done,” Richmond said. 

There’s also the issue of “hot hemp,” or cannabis that comes in too high in THC to meet the legal definition of hemp. Richmond said that the USDA changed the requirements around “negligence,” in part because hemp can be a difficult crop to grow. The USDA doubled the threshold for negligence from .5% THC to 1%. 

“We are trying really hard to provide flexibility as best we can to new growers as they learn how to grow compliant hemp. And so this negligence [limit] was included to basically say, ‘OK, if you make a mistake and you grow hot hemp, you aren’t going to be in trouble with law enforcement. You get a couple of chances to learn how to grow compliant hemp,’” Richmond said. 

In the interim final rule, growers of hot hemp would have had to work with law enforcement or the DEA to destroy the hemp “the same way that we would destroy marijuana,” Richmond said. 

“This is another requirement that we quickly learned that was cumbersome, difficult to meet,” Richmond said, adding that the DEA allowed for this rule to be relaxed enough to allow for on farm disposal, for example, or for growers to turn a hot hemp crop over and bury it without cops getting involved. 

Richmond pointed out that the USDA final rule on hemp could still be subject to a reopened comment period, a request for additional input, or a reissue of a revised final rule “sometime down the road.” Or, the new administration could “push” the effective date out, from one or two months to longer. 

During a brief question and answer session, Richmond fielded inquiries from state agricultural regulators. Doug Miyamoto from Wyoming asked if the USDA noticed any trends from the thousands of comments that the Department received.

“Almost a blanket opposition to the .3% threshold. Same with the DEA lab registration,” Richmond said. 

Anson Tebbetts, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Food, and Markets who submitted the hemp policy amendment, said that he believes that “hemp does have a future in agriculture.” Tebbetts added that there are many farmers in Vermont who are “excited about hemp,” but need “more tools to grow the industry.”

Tebbets spoke in favor of NASDA’s policy amendment to support a change in the federal definition of hemp to allow for more THC.

“Increasing the total THC concentration to 1% would allow for use of available seed varieties, would provide greater assurance to the producers that they have a viable crop, and still places those limits on the THC concentration,” Tebbets said. 

Steve Silverman of the Colorado Department of Agriculture added that, based on research, raising the threshold from .3% to 1% “would not have any concern in terms of public health or drug policy.” 

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried said that the state already has close to 30,000 acres of hemp growing. 

“In our climate and everybody growing outside, being able to allow the plants to get to 1% will certainly help our farmers here in the state,” Fried said, adding that the .3% threshold was a “complete arbitrary number when it was first created. So 1% is very doable on our end and we would again support this tenfold.” 

Source: https://cannabiswire.com/2021/02/25/state-agriculture-regulators-support-raising-federal-thc-ceiling-for-hemp/

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