On January 19th, 2021, the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially put final rules into effect regarding the production of domestic hemp. These rules overwrite the interim rules that came along with the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the regulated production and cultivation of hemp.
These new rules aren’t quite as impactful as the 2018 Farm Bill, which legitimized an entire industry, but there is plenty of important information contained in them. The full text of the new USDA rules is 301 pages long, and mired in legal language that makes it difficult to parse.
Luckily, you don’t have to go and read the whole 301-page document. We’ve taken the time to read through and summarize the new rules and how they impact CBD sellers.
Summary of the USDA’s New Rules Regarding Domestic Hemp Production
Let’s take a look at the basics of what this document represents and who it affects.
Per the document itself, “This final rule supersedes the interim final rule that established the Domestic Hemp Production Program, as mandated by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill).” Put into plain English, the rules contained in the document and summarized in this article replace the original rules from the 2018 Farm Bill.
The new rules:
- Establish regulations that the USDA will use to evaluate plans submitted by States and Indian Tribes for the production of hemp.
- Provide regulations for States and Tribe territories that do not have their own unique rules regarding hemp production.
- Update requirements for labs regarding testing and record-keeping, requirements for land that is used to produce hemp, and non-compliant plant disposal protocols.
- Introduce licensing criteria for hemp producers.
Summary of the New Rules Pertaining to CBD Sellers
Many of the new rules do not impact CBD sellers. That’s because the primary regulatory body for CBD products that sellers provide to customers would be the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not the USDA.
But there is good news in these new rules for CBD retailers. They reduce the penalties of improperly producing hemp and remove a variety of barriers on the road to hemp production.
Here’s a short list and explanation of the main impacts that CBD sellers can expect to see under these new rules.
The looser restrictions on hemp production outlined in the new rules should encourage more companies to expand into the hemp production business. Most importantly, the new rules downgrade the severity of penalties associated with non-compliance. Now, growers who produce hemp that fails to meet the minimum standards will pay a penalty instead of having their license revoked.
The post-testing harvest window has also been expanded, making it easier for smaller operations to remain compliant with the rules laid out by the USDA.
All of these rules make hemp production a safer investment. This will encourage more farmers and companies to invest in hemp production, and will lead to a greater amount of available hemp. This could drive down prices or simply make hemp available in areas where it was once difficult to find.
Clearer Testing Standards
New testing standards will make it easier for laboratories to test plants, and the looser restrictions will result in more plants meeting compliance. These testing standards will not go into place until December 31, 2022, so labs will have time to gather the necessary equipment for these tests.
Specifically, the new standards state that “the performance-based standard for research is a modification of that standard: the potential to ensure, at a confidence level of 95 percent, that the cannabis plant species Cannabis sativa L. that will be subject to this alternative method will not test above the acceptable hemp THC level.” The 95% confidence level should allow a greater number of harvests to meet minimum acceptable standards.
It is clearly stated that “Nothing in this rule prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp.” But the rule goes on to declare that no Indian Tribes or States may limit or otherwise prohibit the interstate commerce of hemp that flows through their state. This should result in a stronger national market for hemp and increase competition, which may further drive down the price and increase the number of potential customers.
Enter the Hemp Business Today!
With all of these exciting new rules from the USDA, it’s the perfect time to get into the hemp business. US Hemp Wholesale can help you add CBD to your product lineup. Our extensive white label and private label options allow to choose between an off-the-shelf solution or a more custom tailored product. And getting started has never been easier.
To see how we can help you become a force in your local CBD market, contact us today! We have plenty of resources that will show you how to get started selling CBD. So don’t delay, join the blossoming market of hemp-derived CBD now!