Progress for Hemp Farmers in Capitol Hill COVID Relief

We’re excited to share some great news from Capitol Hill for hemp farmers.

In last week’s Work from Home, Work for Hemp assignment, we asked you to contact the White House to ensure that hemp farmers and companies would be eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Thanks to you and our partners in other hemp organizations such as Vote Hemp and HIA, we were successful. Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Increase Act which is expected to be signed into law this week, hemp farmers and companies are now clearly eligible for EIDLs. Even better, Congress added another $10 billion to the EIDL program and increased PPP funding from $349 billion to $659 billion.

Additionally, on April 17, USDA announced the Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Using existing funds and funds appropriated in the CARES Act, CFAP makes available $19 billion in immediate relief to farmers and ranchers. One of its two major elements, CFAP will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual commodity losses. To qualify for a payment, a commodity must have declined in price by at least 5% between January and April. Producers who qualify will receive 85% of the price loss between January 1 and April 15. A future payment will also be available for losses in 2020 Q2 and Q3.

It is not yet known whether hemp producers will qualify for CFAP payments. We will be working with our contacts on Capitol Hill and the USDA to try to ensure the maximum support. More information on CFAP is available here.

For other economic assistance programs, USDA has released this helpful primer on COVID-19 federal resources. Links to resources potentially available to hemp farmers and companies are provided, including technical/assistance/training/management, financial assistance, and general state/local resources.

Original article by U.S. Hemp Roundtable

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