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Oregon Hemp Growers Get A Break From Congress On Harvest Rules

The average price of biomass is down more than 80% from last September

Other big ones remain, but an element of uncertainty about the 2020 hemp harvest in Oregon has been eliminated.

A stopgap budget measure passed by Congress and signed by the president last week will allow growers to operate under current rules through the end of the harvest.

Until the change, the 2014 Farm Bill that provides the framework for Oregon’s rules was due to expire on Nov. 1.

That could have meant an end to a 28-day window that growers get to test their crop for THC before they harvest. Under new U.S. Department of Agriculture rules, the window is 15 days, increasing the odds of bringing in a crop that exceeds the 0.3 percent threshold that separates federally legal hemp from illegal marijuana.

Growers mostly expected to be done harvesting by November, which would have rendered the issue moot, but still it was a concern. And fire and smoke raised the chances of a lengthier harvest for some.

So the news from D.C. was good, but market issues continue to hang heavy over the industry.

The latest report from the analytics firm Hemp Benchmarks showed the average price of hemp biomass down more than 80 percent from last September, when the market began to crater under the weight of massive new plantings. Prices for CBD oil and isolate, extracted from hemp biomass and used in various products, are similarly depressed.

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