January 24, 2020 Weekly Round Up

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in agricultural law.  It has also been busy for my speaking schedule!  Welcome to those of you joining from my programs in Palestine, Carthage, Amarillo, Lubbock, and Floydata.

Here are some of the ag law stories in the news.

*TDA published proposed Texas hemp regulation.  The Texas Department of Agriculture has published its proposed Texas hemp regulation.  [View proposed regulation here.]  Importantly, this is not a final regulation as it has not yet been adopted by TDA.  On January 22, a public hearing was held in Waco and TDA is accepting public comment on the proposed rule through February 10.  Keep in mind, until the USDA has approved the Texas Hemp Plan and TDA adopts the final regulation and begins granting licenses, it remains illegal to grow hemp in the Lone Star State.  On Monday, I plan to publish my summary of the proposed regulations, so stay tuned!

*Final Trump WOTUS definition published.  Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency published its final WOTUS definition, which it titled the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule.”  [Read regulation here.]  For anyone interested in a detailed history of WOTUS and the Clean Water Act, the rule has hundreds of pages worth! The rule is almost certain to face legal challenge.  I will work on getting a summary of the regulation put together next week, so be on the look out for that soon.

*Good estate planning reminder from a crazy news story.  My friend, Pat Dillon, recently wrote an article on estate planning using a very unusual request regarding a person’s skull to illustrate some really important estate planning considerations.  If you know Pat, you’ll find this just as entertaining as you’d expect!  [Read article here.]

Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

*Over 40% of hemp grown in AZ exceeds allowable THC level.  A report from Arizona indicates that over half the hemp grown in the state exceeded the allowable THC level, resulting in losses of approximately $13.4 million.  The article notes that the hemp grown in AZ originated in states with much different climates and pointed to the fact that under the USDA regulations, testing looks at total THC levels in the plant, which looks at both delta-9 THC as well as THC acid that can convert to delta-9 THC, rather that just the delta-9 THC level.  [Read article here.]

*Recent interviews.  I was recently interviewed on a couple of great ag programs.  First, I chatted with James Hunt, a veteran ag journalist in Amarillo, about landowner liability issues. [Listen to interview here.]  One correction–we are going to have to re-schedule the Owning Your Piece of Texas program in Amarillo–so do not put the February 12 date on your calendar!  Also, James is a top notch ag reporter and if you are not following his James Hunt Ag website, you’re missing out!

Second, I was honored to be the inaugural guest on the Progressive Cattle Podcast.  I had a great time chatting with David, Cassidy and Paul about some New Year’s suggestions for cattle producers.  [Listen to interview here.]

Upcoming Presentations

After a crazy two weeks, I have a little break from presentations next week.  I’ll be gearing back up with a program in Ft. Worth on February 7.  Do please note that the Owning Your Piece of Texas program in Amarillo for February 12 has been cancelled.  We are working on getting it rescheduled and will let everyone know when we’ve nailed down a new date.  As always, click here to see all of my upcoming presentations.

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