The USDA and DEA reached an agreement to remove the requirement that hemp farmers must have their crops tested in DEA-registered laboratories. This will give hemp farmers much easier access to quality testing services from facilities like Atlantic Test Labs.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable worked with the support of the industry to impress upon the USDA that the DEA-registered lab requirement would have been a significant burden and bottleneck that would inhibit the growth of this young industry, since there are only 46 DEA-registered labs across the country. This requirement was looming since the USDA released its Interim Final Rule for US. Domestic hemp production in the fall of 2019.
The USDA is essentially delaying implementation of the DEA-registered lab requirement as well as its strict rules on disposal of “hot” hemp, or hemp that tests above .3% THC. The statement released by U.S. Hemp Roundtable indicates that senior USDA officials have signaled that more reform may be coming as part of the adjustments to hemp no longer being considered a controlled substance. They indicate that USDA does to want to help the industry grow, while maintaining prudent regulation, so further changes may be coming as the USDA works towards publishing its final rule for the Domestic Hemp Production Program.