Virginia receives USDA approval to proceed with hemp production plan

Federal agriculture authorities gave final approval to the state of Virginia’s plan to regulate hemp production.

The approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture comes just in time for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to comply with the federal rule stating that hemp production must comply with the 2018 federal Farm Bill’s provisions and the USDA’s Domestic Hemp Production Program regulations beginning Jan. 1,  according to Virginia regulators.

Changes to the state’s program include the following requirements:

  • Hemp producer applicants must submit a criminal history report to VDACS.
  • Registered hemp growers must test hemp crops for THC concentration 30 days before each lot is harvested by private sampling agents and testing laboratories.
  • Registered growers must report crop information and location to USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

The state agriculture department is working to communicate the new federal requirements to industrial hemp growers and is accepting applications for trained sampling and testing laboratories.

Virginia agriculture commissioner Brad Copenhaver said the state will continue its discussions with USDA and consider program modifications if federal agriculture regulators provide more flexibility.