In this Oct. 10, 2019, file photo, workers at MERJ farms unload hemp plants during the first harvest at the Sullivan County farm in Bristol, Tennessee. Credit: David Crigger | Bristol Herald Courier via AP

Maine’s agriculture commissioner said a new federal hemp growing program will make it easier for the state’s hemp industry to grow.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that rule changes mean qualified growers will be eligible for programs including farm loans and crop insurance.

[It’s legal to grow hemp. But try getting a loan for it.]

Amanda Beal, commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said farmers in Maine and elsewhere had been “in limbo” waiting for guidance from the federal government. She said the USDA’s move outlines how states such as Maine can implement hemp production at a commercial scale.

Beal and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said last week that guidance from the federal level was needed so farmers would no longer be restricted by rules put in place under the 2019 farm mill.