USDA extends comment period on hemp rules

U.S. agriculture regulators are giving farmers more time to share criticism about the looming national framework for how the crop can be grown.

The extension comes as states and industry associations are pressuring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to delay implementation of its new rules, set to take effect Nov. 1. The USDA is now accepting public feedback on the rules through Oct. 8.

Hemp advocates are hoping the 30-day delay signals that the agency will likely delay implementation of the national hemp rules, which many have complained give hemp farmers too little wiggle room on testing and THC limits.

“We certainly hope that (the delayed comment) announcement is an indication that USDA is moving in the direction of extending the hemp pilot program for another year,” Patrick Atagi of the National Industrial Hemp Council said in a statement.

The USDA says it is most interested in public comments about:

  • Measurement of uncertainty for sampling.
  • Liquid chromatography factor.
  • Disposal and remediation of non-compliant plants.
  • Negligence.
  • Interstate commerce.
  • The 15-day harvest window.
  • Hemp seedlings, microgreens and clones.
  • Hemp breeding and research.
  • Sampling methodology – flower versus whole plant.
  • Sampling methodology – homogeneous composition, frequency and volume.
  • Sampling agents.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory registration.

Comments can be submitted here.