Federal Update: The USDA has published the Final Rule for Domestic Hemp Production!
After a thorough review of public comments spanning 14 months and the 2020 growing season, the Final Rule incorporates modifications to regulations previously established under the interim final rule (IFR) published in October 2019.
Here are some key adjustments that affect Texas Hemp Farmers:
- 0.3% remains the legal Total THC limit to be classified as hemp
- Testing: the negligence standard has been increased from 0.5% THC to 1.0% THC, reducing farmers risk of penalties when growing
- Sampling: Texas can now create our own performance-based sampling requirement which is focused on the results (confidence that 99% of the crop will test below 0.3% THC) rather than being forced to use the federal requirements
- Pre-harvest sample collection has been extended from 15 to 30 days of anticipated harvest, intended to help avoid seasonal bottlenecks
- An adjustment was also made to the location of flower material to be collected, unfortunately whole-plant sampling was not approved
- Disposal: flexible disposal options have been adopted, including on-farm or at-production disposal flexibility
USDA staff will continue to conduct education and outreach to help industry achieve compliance with the requirements. The new USDA Secretary-Designate Tom Vilsack has been a strong hemp supporter and we anticipate continued evolution of cannabis regulations throughout his next term.
If you would like to read the complete USDA Final Rule click here to access the 301 page document.
Your membership is vital to creating the critical infrastructure needed for Hemp to thrive in Texas! We are honored to know you and look forward to providing more valuable information in 2021!