CASPER, Wyo. — The United States Department of Agriculture will soon finalize interim rules that “that will allow hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs.”
They announced the establishment of their new U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The USDA was required to create such a regulatory framework under the 2018 Farm Bill.
The interim rules will be published in the Federal Register later this week which the USDA says will allow hemp production.
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“The rule includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes,” the USDA’s announcement states.
The rules include the following types of requirements:
- rules for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced
- rules for testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- rules for disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements
- licensing requirements
“It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan,” the USDA adds.
Cannabis which contains THC in excess of 0.3% is considered marijuana, which is a schedule I controlled substance illegal under federal rules.
The USDA’s regulations are meant to ensure that hemp may be grown so-long as it is tested and does not exceed 0.3% THC.
“’At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,’” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “‘We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.’”
The USDA provides further information:
“More information about the provisions of the interim final rule is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website,” the USDA adds.