The USDA has just announced its interim final rule on hemp. The rule went into effect October 31st 2019 and sunsets on November 1st 2021. It establishes a domestic hemp production program. During this time the USDA is committed to improving on its work via public comment.
The highlights of the rule include:
- It signals to banks and credit card companies that the hemp and CBD industry are legal and open for business.
- It declares once and for all that interstate transportation in hemp and hemp products are permitted.
- It provides for flexibility in the testing of hemp through its “measurement of uncertainty.”
The lowlights include:
- Its 0.5% THC threshold for negligence is arbitrary and inconsistent with federal law.
- Its requirement for destroying hot hemp does not square with the Farm Bill’s allowance for “disposal” through reuse on the farm.
- Its severe limitation of eligible labs and short testing windows would lead to significant bottlenecks, choking the industry.
- Its repeated shoutouts to the DEA raises concern of inappropriate enforcement actions.
To read the full text of the the interim final rule it can be found here on the USDA's