After two years of deliberating and listening to the public, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its final rule on hemp production on January 19, 2021. The rules, which take effect on March 22, 2021, replace the regulations set in place after the 2018 Farm Bill passage. Much of the industry appears behind the ruling, signaling that American hemp is moving in the right direction.
That said, one step forward does not equate to a completed process. The USDA’s rules are significant but remain just one piece to a more extensive regulatory puzzle for the billion-dollar industry.
Several Significant Rule Changes Announced
The USDA’s announcement will soon establish a concrete framework for the hemp market, removing the state-by-state model in place today while leaving states the right to make alterations on specific facets of the law.
The USDA listened to thousands of public comments, ranging from politicians to advocates to hemp owners. The National Law Review highlighted six key areas the USDA revised:
While hemp products remain capped at .3% THC, producers received an increase in the negligent threshold. Under the new rules, hemp containing more than .3% THC but less than 1% won’t be labeled as negligent, though