The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released an interim final rule for U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program that became effective October 31, 2019. Per the AMS website, “This rule outlines provisions for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve plans submitted by States and Indian Tribes for the domestic production of hemp. It also establishes a Federal plan for producers in States or territories of Indian Tribes that do not have their own USDA-approved plan. The program includes provisions for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced, testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements, licensing requirements, and ensuring compliance with the requirements of the new part.”
In response to the interim final rule, the National Organic Program revised Instruction NOP 2040 effective November 26, 2019. It states, “For hemp produced in the United States, only hemp produced in accordance with the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and/or the 2014 Farm Bill may be certified as organic, if produced in accordance with USDA organic regulations. USDA accredited certifiers and certified organic operations should direct questions about the status of their State or Tribe hemp program to State and Tribe officials. For imported hemp, existing regulations and guidelines continue to govern whether products may be certified as organic.”
CCOF is working to develop internal procedures for verifying that operations are producing hemp in compliance with these USDA requirements. For more information, visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp or https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/NOP%202040%20Hemp%20Instruction.pdf.