USDA Re-Opens Comment Period for Important Hemp Rule

Cannabis Industry News Alert

Client Alert


Following sustained criticism from many aspects of the hemp industry, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Friday that it was reopening the comment period for the interim final rule (IFR) that was published on October 31, 2019. The reopening will provide an additional 30 days for interested persons to comment on the IFR.

The USDA received more than 4,600 comments during the first public comment period at the end of 2019. Still, many in the industry were dissatisfied with the IFR. This is an important opportunity for stakeholders to express their views to the USDA for the practical implementation of hemp policy in the United States.

All stakeholders are invited to provide comments, especially those who were subject to the regulatory requirements of the IFR during the 2020 production cycle. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is interested in all additional input for all aspects of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, and is particularly interested in comments on the following topics:

  1. Measurement of Uncertainty for Sampling
  2. Liquid Chromatography Factor, 0.877
  3. Disposal and Remediation of Non-Compliant Plants
  4. Negligence
  5. Interstate Commerce
  6. 15-Day Harvest Window
  7. Hemp Seedlings, Microgreens, and Clones
  8. Hemp Breeding and Research
  9. Sampling Methodology – Flower vs. Whole Plant
  10. Sampling Methodology – Homogenous Composition, Frequency, and Volume
  11. Sampling Agents
  12. DEA Laboratory Registration

Notice of this extension is currently available for viewing in the Federal Register and will be published today. Comments must be received by October 8, 2020.

Our Cannabis Industry team stands ready to help you prepare commentary for the USDA. Please contact Whitt Steineker for assistance preparing and submitting your commentary so the agency has the benefit of your views as it considers important hemp policy decisions in the months ahead.

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Bradley lawyers have the breadth of experience to provide full-service representation to our hemp clients. As strategic advisors, we give each client the practical counsel needed to make the best decisions for their businesses.

And our team is a leading voice in the hemp sector. We have presented on hemp issues at conferences around the country. Our work has been featured in the National Law JournalLaw360, and the Westlaw Journal. And we have been quoted in an array of legal and mainstream publications, from Law360 and Super Lawyers to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Associated Press, and ABC News.