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Industrial hemp left out of early COVID relief

The president of the Minnesota Industrial Hemp Association is frustrated by the lack of COVID relief for the emerging hemp industry.

Dave Ladd says the first two aid packages did not provide direct assistance to hemp producers or make them eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program eligibility.

“It’s an industry that’s new, so how do you handle production history? How do you verify a loss when you really don’t have five years of baseline data (and) that sort of thing. So those were some of the initial challenges.”

He tells Brownfield the latest COVID relief bill did address some of those issues.

“And I’m assuming that if we have another with the new administration and new Congress, that will continue.”

Looking ahead, Ladd expects CBD to remain a key piece of the hemp market.  But he says there could be more of a shift toward grain and fiber in 2021.

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