In one of 4,685 comments the Agriculture Department received on its hemp regulation before the comment period closed Thursday, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture said USDA needs more flexibility than it has established in the interim final rule now in effect.
“This rule comes after 18-years of work by NASDA to legalize hemp production in the U.S.,” NASDA CEO Barb Glenn said.
“We know at least 30 states will have to revise their own laws in order to comply with the requirements of the rule. Without some flexibility, this could exacerbate competitive differences between the states and hamper growth of the national industry.”
Here are some of NASDA’s recommendations:
▪ Extending the number of days in the testing window to within 15 to 30 days of harvest
▪ Dropping the requirement for states to use a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) registered laboratory
▪ Enhancing flexibility to secure testing in laboratories that have the technical expertise to perform testing on hemp
▪ Creating a tier-based approach for sampling and testing that would allow for greater flexibility for state regulators while assuring the integrity of hemp programs
▪ Setting the negligence threshold for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) at 1% and allow for states to develop mitigation plans
▪ Allow states to work with state law enforcement, instead of DEA, to establish protocol for disposal of non-compliant materials
▪ Remove Farm Service Agency reporting requirements from the rule
▪ Develop categories within the rule based on the crop’s use in commerce, research, etc.
▪ Extended implementation timelines beyond the current Oct. 31, 2020 deadline
▪ Continue to prioritize additional research
The American Farm Bureau Federation also said that “improvements” to the regulation are needed and its Market Intel service analyzed the issue.