Hemp rules finally released by USDA

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Tuesday released the long-awaited regulation plan for hemp production. Perdue says rulemaking teams operated as “all hands on deck” over the last few months in creating a “fair and science-based” program. The Department of Agriculture says the framework makes hemp producers eligible for several agricultural programs, including crop insurance.

Under the interim final rule, USDA will approve hemp production plans developed by states. The program requires documentation of the land where hemp is produced, along with testing and licensing requirements. USDA will begin accepting applications 30 days after the effective date of the interim rule.

Meanwhile, all hemp production must be sampled and tested for THC concentration levels at Drug Enforcement Agency registered laboratories. If a test confirms a THC level exceeding the approved level, then the crop must be disposed of. Hemp must not contain more than .3 percent THC on a dry weight basis, as a level above .3 percent is federally considered marijuana. The complete rule is available online here.

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