USDA Releases Interim Rules for Domestic Hemp Production

Lab Testing of Hemp SeedsOn October 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”) issued interim rules for the domestic production of hemp and requested comments on the rules over the next 60 days. The rules provide minimum requirements for plans adopted by states or Indian tribes as well as requirements for hemp production in states and Indian tribes that do not choose to adopt their own plan.

The key highlights of the proposed rules are that licensed producers will need their crop tested by a DEA-registered lab and that non-compliant crops must be destroyed by persons authorized to handle marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”). There is a little wiggle room on the amount of THC based on the degree of uncertainty, but this only provides producers with limited flexibility. The USDA did not certify any specific seeds as THC-compliant.

For more detailed information on the USDA’s proposed rules, please see Dorsey’s recent eUpdate here: dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2019/11/usda-domestic-hemp-production.

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