USDA Posts Hemp Rules – Calls For Total THC Testing – Benzinga

Farmers growing hemp would get a small cushion in THC limits under nationwide rules proposed Tuesday by federal agriculture regulators.

Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s draft rules, crops testing higher than 0.3% THC due to uncertain genetics and variation in sampling and testing procedures will have a range of “measurement of uncertainty” that their crops must fall within for their test results to be considered acceptable.

“USDA recognizes that hemp producers may take the necessary steps and precautions to produce hemp … yet still produce plants that exceed the acceptable hemp THC level,” the rules say.

The guidelines will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday and take effect immediately.

Farmers wouldn’t be considered in negligent violation unless their hemp crops test above 0.5% THC, according to USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach. Ibach heads up the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the division responsible for drafting the federal rules.

Still, farmers with hemp that tests at 0.3%-0.5% THC “would still need to dispose of the plants,” the agency said.

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