DEA Testing Requirement for Hemp Removed by USDA

The United States Department of Argiculture says it will delay the requirement that all THC testing on hemp crops must be performed at laboratories registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, reports the Hemp Industry Daily. In addition, officials say it’s a “fool’s errand” to get people to stop taking over-the-counter CBD.

According to the Daily, the testing delay comes after farmers and states alike complained there wouldn’t be enough DEA labs to handle demand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledges the complaints in an update Thursday.

“We now better understand how the limited number of DEA-registered labs will hinder testing and better understand the associated costs with disposing of product that contains over 0.3% THC could make entering the hemp market too risky,” USDA wrote. “We were able to reach an agreement (with DEA) that we are going to be able to provide some relief from the laboratory certification process for this crop year,” Greg Ibach, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told members at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) meeting this week in Arlington, Virginia.

“DEA will still expect states to work with their laboratories to try to achieve certification for the 2021 crop year,” he added.

“This about-face by the USDA means that farmers can continue to use their trusted local and regional analytical testing labs to ensure compliance with USDA rules,” Josh Schneider, CEO of San Diego-based young plant producer Cultivaris Hemp, told Hemp Industry Daily. “Getting rid of this ridiculous DEA testing requirement is a step in the right direction by the USDA,” he added. “Hopefully this means that the USDA has come to their senses and will be making better and smarter rules going forward.”

Dr. Stephen Hahn, the newly appointed commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, acknowledged this week that American consumers want CBD, saying that the agency is working to move forward with regulations.

“We’re not going to be able to say you can’t use these products. It’s a fool’s errand to even approach that,” Hahn said told NASDA attendees. “We have to be open to the fact that there might be some value to these products, and certainly Americans think that’s the case. But we want to get them information to make the right decisions.”

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