USDA Re-Opens Comment Period For Important Hemp Rule

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Following sustained criticism from many aspects of the hemp industry, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Friday that it was reopening the comment period for the interim final rule (IFR) that was published on October 31, 2019. The reopening will provide an additional 30 days for interested persons to comment on the IFR.

The USDA received more than 4,600 comments during the first public comment period at the end of 2019. Still, many in the industry were dissatisfied with the IFR. This is an important opportunity for stakeholders to express their views to the USDA for the practical implementation of hemp policy in the United States.

All stakeholders are invited to provide comments, especially those who were subject to the regulatory requirements of the IFR during the 2020 production cycle. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is interested in all additional input for all aspects of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, and is particularly interested in comments on the following topics:

  1. Measurement of Uncertainty for Sampling
  2. Liquid Chromatography Factor, 0.877
  3. Disposal and Remediation of Non-Compliant Plants
  4. Negligence
  5. Interstate Commerce
  6. 15-Day Harvest Window
  7. Hemp Seedlings, Microgreens, and Clones
  8. Hemp Breeding and Research
  9. Sampling Methodology – Flower vs. Whole Plant
  10. Sampling Methodology – Homogenous Composition, Frequency, and Volume
  11. Sampling Agents
  12. DEA Laboratory Registration

Notice of this extension is currently available for viewing in the Federal Register and will be published today. Comments must be received by October 8, 2020.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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