Proposed US hemp regulations worry farmers and industry. Why Google is after millions of medical records.
Uncertainty Ahead: A year ago, US lawmakers reclassified hemp as a legal agricultural crop. Hemp growers and entrepreneurs were ecstatic and licenses for hemp cultivation topped a half-million acres in 2019 - 450% above 2018 levels.
Now, the US government is drafting regulations for the industry, and businesses are worried Washington will use a heavy hand that could result in many crops failing required tests and being destroyed. In fact, the US Department of Agriculture, the agency writing the rules, estimates 20% of hemp lots would fail under the draft regulations.
What's the Worry?: Most of the anxiety surrounds how the government will test THC (a high-inducing compound also found in marijuana, which is illegal) and THCA (a nonpsychoactive component). The government considers plants with less than 0.3% amount of THC to be hemp; anything above that number is banned and growers could be prohibited from growing hemp and/or prosecuted.
But the regulation of THC in hemp varies amongst states - some allow concentrations above 0.3%, some don't account for THCA, some allow more harvesting time after THC testing etc. The challenge is to harmonise these diverse regulations into a rule-book acceptable to all. AP
Mad for Meds: The king of the search engine industry is eyeing the healthcare market. Google has struck partnerships with some of largest hospital systems and most-renowned health-care providers in the US, many of them vast in scope and few of their details previously reported. In just a few years, the company has achieved the ability to view or analyse tens of millions of patient health records in at least three-quarters of U.S. States, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of contractual agreements. Click here to read more.
Hand-curated Business News from Top Publishers & Platforms, Richly Crafted to Fit into One Wholesome Email. Subscribe Now to receive a nuanced 360 Degree account of key events from the World of Business and Finance every day.