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The hemp industry has plenty to say about the recent proposed hemp regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More than 500 public comments have been submitted less than two weeks into the period for open feedback.

The U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program was announced last month as a mandatory requirement via the 2018 Farm Bill. It was also published in the Federal Register via an interim final rule. The final rule also includes guidelines for sampling and testing procedures.

Many of the comments are about THC limits and testing. Suggestions include raising the federally mandated limit of 0.3% THC by dry weight up to 1%. Another comment proposes the timeline for testing prior to harvest should be increased from 15 days to 30 days.

Other express concern with the stipulation that hemp crops may only undergo testing in Drug Enforcement Administration-registered facilities . In Oregon, the only facility which meets this requirement is the state’s crime lab.

“From our understanding, many existing labs are unable to be DEA certified because they also service marijuana businesses. [This] is still a Schedule 1 Substance under the CSA,” writes Jesse Richardson. “A single lab cannot handle 750+ growers in Oregon. Existing labs should be permitted service providers. These are quality, trusted labs we have worked with for years.”

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable also raises concerns in a formal letter. Their letter flags a provision that penalizes farmers for cultivating hemp with more than 0.5% THC.

“Resolution of these issues could have a positive impact on the developing hemp market [and] promote future innovation,” they write.

Make Your Voice Heard

Click here to submit your feedback on proposed hemp regulations from the USDA. Public comments may be sent until December 31. We also encourage you to contact your state representatives and share your thoughts on this issue.

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