Proposed hemp regulations would be a nightmare for farmers

“I would have to grow at least three times as many plants under the USDA rule to produce the same amount of CBD as I get out of one plant now.”

By Masha Abarinova | Reason

The federal government is considering various regulations on the commercial harvesting of hemp, and hemp farmers are none too thrilled.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an interim rule last October, nearly 11 months after 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp. The rules dictate that hemp farmers must harvest within 15 days of testing their crop for THC. Farmers must then take samples from the top of the plant, where THC levels are the highest, and send them to a certified Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lab.

Under federal and most state regulations, cannabis plants with a THC level of 0.3 percent or lower are considered hemp. Crops that test above 0.3 percent for THC combined with THCA, a nonpsychoactive component of the plant, must be destroyed. Farmers whose crops repeatedly test above 0.5 percent could be suspended from growing hemp altogether.

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