USDA Provides Clarity in Final Hemp Rule

By American Farm Bureau Federation,

The Department of Agriculture recently published a final rule clarifying regulations for U.S. hemp production. Micheal Clements shares how changes to the rule will benefit hemp producers along with Scott Bennett Director, Congressional Relations.

Clements: The final hemp production rule issued by USDA will ease the regulatory burden on hemp farmers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Farm Bureau Congressional Relations Director Scott Bennett says the final rule changes sampling and testing requirements.

This new final rule allows states and tribes to adopt a performance-based approach to sampling in their plans. This new alternative method simply must have the potential to ensure that at a confidence level of 95 percent, the plant will not test above the acceptable THC level. The rule also modified the sampling timeline. The interim final rule gave a 15-day window to collect samples before harvest. That now sits at a 30-day window.

Clements: Bennett says the final rule also changes regulations regarding negligence and disposal.

Bennett: This final rule raises the negligence threshold from .5 percent to one percent THC and limits the maximum number of negligent violations a producer can receive to one per calendar year. The final rule also provides additional flexibility to farmers who can now dispose of a crop on their own without the need of assistance from DEA or local law enforcement.

Clements: The final rule is set to go into effect this spring, pending review by the Biden administration.

Bennett: The final rule goes into effect on March 22. However, the proposal of this rule at USDA at the end of 2020 causes it to sit inside the window of time by which President Biden will review all rule making.

Clements: Learn more on the Market Intel page at Micheal Clements, Washington.

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