February 27, 2020

USDA’s Improvements Made Official

USDA’s Improvements Made Official

As we shared this morning, the USDA informally announced changes to its hemp regulatory policies, made in response to feedback from the public.

They just made them official this afternoon. Click here for details.

In sum:

  • The requirement that labs testing hemp must be registered by the DEA has been eliminated for this crop season, and will be delayed until October 2021, or when the final rule is published, whichever comes first. The USDA recognized that with the limited number of labs currently registered by the DEA, testing bottlenecks would have occurred. The USDA hopes this delay will give time for more interested laboratories to receive DEA certification. We continue to believe that DEA certification of labs is unnecessary, and will use this time period to renew our arguments.
  • While the Interim Final Rule required “hot” hemp – that which tests above 0.3% THC – to be destroyed, the USDA responded to public comments urging the options of disposal and remediation on the farm, consistent with good farming practices. The agency’s new list of allowed disposal techniques and descriptions is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page.

Further, behind the scenes, and in other public statements, USDA has indicated a willingness to reform some of the sampling and testing requirements of the Interim Final Rule that farmers and the industry have deemed onerous. We look forward to announcements on these reforms in the coming weeks.

Again, this progress is thanks to you – your comments – your advocacy – your voice. When we raise our voices, we win!