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USDA Hemp Rules Accepting Public Comments

November/1/2019

The United States Department of Agriculture released the draft containing hemp industry interim regulations. The regulations which are up for debate provides business owners, legislators, and financial institution with new measures. 

The USDA has opened the comments platform, which will be closing on 30th December. 

There were 55 comments on the platform by Friday. The comments will help the department polish the amendments before it compiles the final draft. 

The interim regulations address issues such as land use, sampling, and testing of hemp, an inspection of hemp crop, disposal of plants with more THC, certification resources, and the intersection of federal and state rules for hemp production. The main topic of the debate is the testing of the THC levels in hemp crops. The discussions also cover federal laws governing the cultivation and sale of hemp products. 

According to the new rules, THC levels will be tested using the post-decarboxylation method, which converts THCA (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) into THC. Currently, USDA is testing THC concentration using gas or liquid chromatography. THC concentration is determined by adding the contents of THC and THCA on a dry weight basis. If the levels of THC exceed the stipulated 0.3%, the crop must be destroyed. 

Hemp crop exceeding the acceptable levels of THC should be disposed following the CSA and DEA regulation since it has crossed the stipulated threshold, as stated in Schedule 1. The CSA regulation stipulates that the disposable hemp must be collected by a person authorized to handle cannabis such as a local law enforcement officer or a DEA registered reverse distributor.