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USDA Renames Trade Committee To Recognize Hemp As A Key Specialty Crop

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is renaming a trade advisory committee to prominently feature hemp among a select group of specialty crops—reflecting the agency’s understanding of cannabis as a uniquely valuable commodity.

Hemp and its derivatives like CBD were legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, and USDA has spent that past few years working closely with the industry to support businesses and normalize the crop. Now it is symbolically recognizing hemp as part of one of its six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs).

While USDA has already added one hemp industry representatives to the body, it’s being formally renamed to reflect the sector. Going forward, it will be the ATAC for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts and Hemp, the department said in a notice set to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday.

Patrick Atagi, president and CEO of the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC), was appointed to the advisory committee in 2021. Kevin Latner, a former marketing executive at NIHC, was made part of a separate ATAC focused on processed foods in 2020.

The committee renaming is a “huge recognition” by federal officials “to recognize hemp as an agricultural and trade commodity and product, emphasizing the move

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