UPDATE: On February 27, 2020, the USDA announced that it will temporarily delay enforcement of two provisions of the Interim Final Rule on hemp production. until October 31, 2021 or the publication of the Final Rule, whichever is earlier. First, the DEA will delay enforcing the requirement that THC testing must be conducted at DEA registered laboratories. Instead, testing may be conducted by labs that are not yet DEA registered. Second, USDA will delay enforcement of the requirement that producers use a DEA-registered reverse distrubutor or law enforcement to dispose of non-compliant plants. Instead, the producer may dispose of his or her crop using one of the methods listed by the USDA, which include plowing under, disking, and burning, among other options. The USDA says it is delaying the enforcement of these rules due to comment received in response to the Interim Final Rule and from discussions with states as they develop their plans. “We have learned that these provisions will serve as a significant hindrance to the growth of a domestic hemp market at this nascent stage.” [Read guidance here.]
UPDATE: The Texas hemp plan was approved by the USDA on January 27, 2020. TDA published its proposed regulations for hemp production on January 10, 2020. [Read summary here.] Final regulations are expected to be published in early March.
Last week, Dr. Justin Benavidez and I sat down to talk through some of the key provisions included in the just-released USDA Interim Final Hemp Rule. To hear our thoughts on the highlight of the rule–both from a legal and economic perspective–take a look at the video below.
If you want to read a more detailed discussion of the rule, click here. If you would like to see a great summary on the “benefits and costs of production” section of the rule, click here for Dr. Benavidez’ blog post.