New USDA confirms looming nationwide hemp rules

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The nationwide hemp rules are taking effect March 22 as planned, with no additional delay or review because of the changed administration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA gave notice Monday that the rules have been reviewed and are cleared to take effect as planned. The USDA was giving the hemp plan a second look because it was published less than 24 hours before former President Donald Trump left office in January.

Among other changes, the final hemp rules:

  • Allow hemp farmers to use common disposal methods to destroy hemp crops with more than 0.3% THC.
  • Give hemp producers 30 days before harvest to get their plants tested for THC, up from 15 days. 
  • Give farmers more breathing room before being considered “negligent” for producing hot hemp. The new negligence standard is 1% THC, up from 0.5% THC. 

Not all the final rules have been embraced by the industry, though. The final rules retain a requirement that hot hemp flowers be destroyed and that testing labs be certified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The rules also require hemp to tested for total THC content, not just delta-9 THC.

Learn more about the final hemp rules in this free downloadable reference guide, “USDA Final Hemp Rule: A Handbook for Hemp & CBD Businesses.”

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