On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the long-awaited interim final rule for the domestic production of hemp. As an interim final rule, it took effect immediately upon publication in the Federal Register on October 31, 2019. The rule allows for domestic hemp to be grown under the USDA program or a federally-approved State or Indian tribe's plan. States and Indian tribes wishing to have primary regulatory authority over hemp production must submit a plan for approval by USDA that is in compliance with the rule's requirements. The rule regulates where hemp can be grown, procedures on testing for THC content, and disposal processes for noncompliant crops. A copy of the rule can be found here. Public comments on the rule must be received by December 30, 2019. After reviewing and evaluating the comments, USDA will publish a final rule within two years of the publication of this interim final rule.
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