Dwelling Grown: USDA loosens THC sampling rules for hemp crops
CBS 13 April Hettinger looks at the future of federal hemp laws
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – Last month, a provisional federal rule called the 2018 Farm Bill was officially passed, with updated regulations for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) testing in hemp products.
All hemp and cannabis products must be tested for THC levels, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a final rule that would give growers a little more indulgence.
Robert Masson, a Yuma County’s agricultural expansion representative, says this will give growers a better opportunity to invest in hemp.
“You changed the negligence violations when you grow hemp and if you produce hemp with a THC content of 1% or more it is considered negligent,” Masson said.
The original law would give a 0.5% negligence rate.
The USDA also changed the sampling window from 15 days before harvest to 30 days before harvest.
Masson corrects the problems with the original 15-day rule.
“They may not be able to get your THC results until after those 15 days that you may already have harvested. If you have harvested them and it has gotten hot for THC, of course you have to destroy that harvest,” explained Masson.
Hemp crops must be destroyed when the Thc levels exceed 0.3%, as that is when they become marijuana.
In addition, testing does not need to be done at the top of the plant, where THC is most effective.
“They put it back into the state to design what’s called performance-based sampling protocols, where you can take samples from the entire facility including the lower parts of the facility where they may be less effective, or a mixture of the top and bottom the one below, “said Masson.
This could bring some new benefits to Yuma County.
“I’m very excited about these microgreens because we produce so many green leaf products here in Yuma,” said Masson. “Once we have a set of guidelines for growing microgreens, we can start producing them commercially and then adding them to salad kits.”
Each state can decide how it wants to promote these sampling regulations. After approval in Arizona, Masson hopes to begin producing hemp spring mixes this fall.