Hemp producer farm. A producer can be issued a negligent violation if the THC concentration of the plant exceeds 0.5%. In determining whether a violation occurred, the interim rules state that a failed test from a distinct lot may invalidate the entire harvest. (Photo: Shutterstock)

On October 31, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled the interim final rule for its U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, and may now proceed with review and approval of state and tribal hemp plans. The release commenced a 60-day public comment period with an effective date scheduled for December 31, 2019, and the USDA will publish finalized rules within two years. Although hemp may continue to be cultivated pursuant to authority granted by the 2014 Farm Bill, that authority sunsets on October 31, 2020, one year after the publication of the interim rule.

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