This week, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture submitted final comments on federal hemp production guidelines.
The comments submitted to the Department of Agriculture highlight potential changes to the Domestic Hemp Production Program interim final rule. NASDA CEO Barb Glenn says, “We know at least 30 states will have to revise their own laws in order to comply with the requirements of the rule,” adding that without some flexibility, the rule could create competitive differences between states.
NASDA recommends USDA extends the number of days in the testing window to within 15 to 30 days of harvest, along with dropping the requirement for states to use a Drug Enforcement Administration registered laboratory.
Additionally, the organization suggests USDA create a tier-based approach for sampling and testing that would allow for greater flexibility for state regulators, set the negligence threshold for THC at one percent, and allow for states to develop mitigation plans, among other recommendations. The comment period closed Wednesday.
LINCOLN – Today, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) was notified that the state’s hemp plan was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Now that NDA has an approved state hemp plan in place, we can begin issuing licenses for the commercial cultivation, processing, handling and brokering of industrial hemp in Nebraska,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.
To view the finalized plan as approved by USDA, visit NDA’s website at nda.nebraska.gov/hemp. License applications for 2020 will be available on the NDA website beginning on Monday, February 3.
Arizona’s budding hemp-growing industry is suffering growing pains as levels of THC that are too high force some farmers to destroy crops instead of harvesting them.
Results of state Department of Agriculture testing have about 41% of the Arizona hemp plants failing due to too high a level of THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high. The Arizona Republic reports that growers in other states around the country have had issues managing the THC content of hemp plants, with crops in Hawaii and Nebraska also testing too high, but not as much as in Arizona’s early months.
Arizona in 2019 began issuing hemp-growing licenses to farmers under a law enacted in 2018, and harvesting started in late 2019.