The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a nationwide proposal for growing hemp and testing its THC content, a move that comes more than 10 months after the U.S. Congress legalized hemp and ordered the USDA to regulate it.
The draft rules are important for marijuana companies interested in pivoting into a crop that is now legal under federal law. MJ businesses have been eyeing hemp – a cousin of marijuana – as a way to diversify their revenue streams.
The proposal includes provisions for the USDA to approve hemp production plans developed by states and American Indian tribes, including:
- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the interim rule in a news release Tuesday.Requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced.
- Testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- Disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements.
- Licensing requirements.
- Establishing a plan for hemp producers in states or territories that do not already have an approved hemp production plan.
“We hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” Perdue said in the statement.
Published: October 29, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News