USDA Announces U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program

USDA Announces U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. This program, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the United States.

The interim final rule was published today formalizing the program allowing hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and making hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs. The rule includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including:

  • requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced;
  • testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol;
  • disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and
  • licensing requirements.

It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.

The interim final rule becomes effective on Oct. 31, 2019. USDA invites public comment on the interim rule and the information collection burden. Written comments may be submitted until Dec. 30, 2019.

USDA also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures that are being issued concurrently with this rule. These documents provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories. Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection.