USDA Releases Regulations for Hemp Production Program

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The USDA has released its interim regulations to create a domestic hemp production program. The agency received authority to create these regulations under the 2018 farm bill. The farm bill authorized the USDA to create a shared federal and state regulatory authority over the production of hemp, with the program to be administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

These regulations provide important guidance for the hemp industry and include procedures for states and tribal governments to follow to submit plans to be approved by the USDA.

Some key points from the regulations:

  • Clarification that interstate transportation of hemp is permitted
  • States and tribal governments that want to administer hemp programs are required to submit a state plan to the USDA for approval. Elements required in the state plans include:
    • Licensing requirements
    • Way to track land used for production
    • Testing methods for THC
    • Disposal of plants that test above allowed THC level
  • Labs that test for THC will need to register with the DEA

The regulations were published in the Federal Register on Thursday, October 31, 2019.

There is now a 60 day comment period that is open through December 30, 2019. Comments can be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. More information about submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register.

There is additional information about the Domestic Hemp Production Program on USDA’s website.