USDA Publishes Draft Rules for Hemp Industry


This morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) distributed a Draft Interim Final Rule to govern the hemp industry.

This long-anticipated rule sets the stage for further federal and state regulation of the hemp industry. Once effective, the rule will govern how state and tribal hemp plans will be evaluated and approved by the USDA, and will allow licensure of hemp cultivations by the federal government in jurisdictions with no state or federal plan.

The rule covers many aspects of the hemp cultivation industry, including cultivation and reporting requirements, testing, destruction of plants, laboratory accreditation, state and federal licensing processes, and a wide range of miscellaneous compliance requirements.

While the rule does not change the 2018 Farm Bill’s definition of hemp, or the definitions of hemp or marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act, many requirements and policies under the rule are significantly different than current practices in the hemp industry.

Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, interested parties will have 60 days to submit public comments to the USDA regarding the content of the rule. This is a great opportunity for hemp businesses to participate in shaping the future of the hemp industry. If you are interested in making a comment about the rule, or would like to discuss the impact of the rule on your hemp business, please contact McAllister Garfield.

David Wunderlich, Esq.