From the USDA official announcement:
As part of the transition to the new Administration, the final rule was under additional review by the Department. The rule has now been cleared by Secretary Vilsack to move forward as published in the Federal Register . . .The final rule will become effective on March 22, 2021.
Key provisions of the final rule include:
Negligent violation –Producers must dispose of plants that exceed the acceptable hemp THC level. However, if the plant tests at or below the negligence threshold of 1%, the producer will not have committed a negligent violation. The maximum number of negligent violations that a producer can receive in a growing season (calendar year) is limited to one.
Disposal and remediation of non-compliant plants – The final rule allows for alternative disposal methods for non-compliant plants that do not require using a DEA reverse distributor or law enforcement and expands the disposal and remediation measures available to producers.
Testing using DEA-registered laboratories – DEA has agreed to extend the enforcement flexibility allowing non-DEA registered labs to test hemp until January 1, 2022.