USDA Enforcement Discretion Update: DEA Provides Options for Labs, Disposal of Non-Compliant Hemp Plants
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the delay of enforcement of certain requirements under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.
“Because currently there isn’t sufficient capacity in the United States for the testing and disposal of non-compliant hemp plants, USDA has worked hard to enable flexibility in the requirements in the Interim Final Rule for those issues,”
— USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach.
Under the new guidance, USDA will delay enforcement of the requirement for labs to be registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the requirement that producers use a DEA-registered reverse distributor or law enforcement to dispose of non-compliant plants under certain circumstances. Enforcement will be delayed starting this crop year and until Oct. 31, 2021, or the final rule is published, whichever comes first.
Based on commentary feedback, USDA has identified additional options for the disposal of “hot” hemp plants. The new methods are intended to allow producers to apply common on-farm practices for the destruction of non-compliant plants.
Some of these new options include, but are not limited to:
Plowing under non-compliant plants or
Composting into “green manure” for use on the same land
Deep Burial (At least 12 in)
A list of allowed disposal techniques and descriptions is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page.
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