Greenspoon Marder’s Washington DC-based partner
Jessica Wasserman and Nabil Rodriguez* participated in the “2018 Farm Bill Listening Session on Domestic Hemp Production Program” conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on March 13, 2019. The event provided an opportunity for the agency to receive feedback directly from stakeholders regarding development of new regulations implementing the hemp provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill. According to USDA, 2,500 participated in the webinar with 60 pre-approved speakers.
Our comments focused on the need for USDA to use its role in approving state hemp programs to drive a reasonable and predictable national testing protocol for determining the THC level in hemp and hemp-derived products.
Speakers included Departments of Agriculture of states including Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wisconsin along with several tribal representatives, standard setting organizations and trade associations.
The Listening Session was the first step toward USDA issuing a proposed regulation implementing the 2018 Farm Bill mandate that USDA approve state hemp programs and establish a federal program. USDA has previously announced that the agency will have new regulations and guidance in place for the 2020 growing season.
Most speakers requested that USDA work to move the industry toward national standards and approaches. Several commenters noted the current lack of a common state approach to basic practices such as the sampling of hemp plants (pre- or post-harvest, how much plant material to collect, how many plants are sampled, etc.). Analytical testing was another frequently mentioned issue, with respect to which analytical method(s) should be used, whether laboratories should be accredited for cannabinoid testing, and what form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) should be used to determine compliance.
Please contact Jessica Wasserman at
email@example.com 202-669-9449 if you would like more information about USDA or FDA regulation of hemp and hemp-derived products.
*Not an attorney