UPDATED: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued regulations governing the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity in the form of an interim final rule. The interim final rule covers the requirements for where hemp can be grown, THC testing standards, the disposal process for crops that don’t meet federal standards and licensing protocols. (Read the draft version of the interim final rule.)
These federal hemp regulations are effective immediately, but subject to change based on public comment. The interim final rule on hemp have been formally published in the Federal Register on Thursday, followed by a 60-day public comment period that ends on 12/30/19. You can submit public comment here. Once the rules are finalized, Texas can submit their state-level regulations plans. Once accepted by the USDA, Texas can begin our formal state rulemaking process. The USDA’s interim rule will sunset in two years, after which point USDA will issue final regulations.
This implementation ensures important opportunities and protections afforded to other farmers and provides long-awaited clarity for regulators. Stay tuned for more as this develops.