USDA Announces Delay in Requirement that Labs be DEA Registered to Test Hemp and Options for Disposing of “Hot” Hemp
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the delay of enforcement of certain requirements under the interim final rule (IFR) establishing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.
Under the new guidance, USDA will delay enforcement of the requirement for labs to be registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the requirement that producers use a DEA-registered reverse distributor or law enforcement to dispose of non-compliant plants under certain circumstances. Enforcement will be delayed starting this crop year and until Oct. 31, 2021, or the final rule is published, whichever comes first.
The USDA faced the reality that there isn’t enough independent labs in the U.S. that test hemp to ensure that all farmers can have their hemp tested this year. Laboratory testing for the purposes of determining compliance under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program can be conducted by labs that are not yet registered with DEA. The laboratories must still meet all the other requirements in the IFR. Specifically, labs must adhere to the standards of performance as outlined within the IFR, including the requirement to test for total THC employing post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods.
Based on feedback from states and tribes, and in consultation with DEA, USDA has identified additional options for the disposal of “hot” hemp plants. Some of these new options include, but are not limited to, plowing under non-compliant plants or composting into “green manure” for use on the same land. The new methods are intended to allow producers to apply common on-farm practices for the destruction of non-compliant plants.
Hemp that tests greater than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis must be disposed of onsite according to the disposal methods approved by USDA. The state, tribe or the state’s department of agriculture will be responsible for establishing protocols and procedures to ensure non-compliant hemp is appropriately destroyed or remediated in compliance with applicable state, tribal and federal law.
A list of allowed disposal techniques and descriptions is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page.CBD, Farm Bill, Hemp, Hot Hemp, ODA, Rules, THC, USDA