Your Guide to the USDA’s Final Rule on Hemp

Cannabtimes

<![CDATA[On Jan. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released a final rule on hemp based on its previous set of regulations that drew public comments from nearly 6,000 people.The latest set of regulations makes several highly requested changes to the interim final rule (IFR) that are seen as favorable to both hemp producers and regulators.Still, contentious aspects of the IFR remain, but some industry members are hopeful there is still time to amend them.“Overall, the final rule’s contents in some ways show progress and demonstrate the USDA has looked into the industry as part of its public comment process,” Garrett Graff, managing partner of Hoban Law Group, tells Hemp Grower. “In another way, the final rule remains stagnant.” SamplingThe final rule made several changes to sampling that should reduce burdens on both growers and regulators.First, the rule increased the sampling window, which is currently 15 days. Samples for testing now need to be taken up to 30 days before a farmer plans to harvest, giving regulators more time to get into fields. Many stated in public comments that 15 days was far too little time to collect an appropriate amount of samples from each producer in the state.The rule also slightly modified from where on the plant samples need to be taken. While the IFR required collecting a sample from the top third portion of the plant, the final rule now states samples should be taken “approximately five to eight inches from the ‘main stem’ (that includes the leaves and flowers), ‘terminal bud’ (that occurs at the end of a stem), or ‘central cola’ (cut stem that could develop into a bud) of the flowering top of the plant.”Andrea Hope J. Steel, the director at Coats Rose P.C. and co-leader of the law firm’s Cannabis Business…

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Source : Your Guide to the USDA’s Final Rule on Hemp

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