USDA to Relax DEA Lab Testing Requirement and Allow Easier Method of ‘Hot’ Crop Destruction

USDA to Relax DEA Lab Testing Requirement and Allow Easier Method of ‘Hot’ Crop Destruction
Image Source: Avery Meeker via Unsplash
February 27, 2020

Understandably so, the rules from the USDA regarding hemp regulation have caused large amounts of concern since their release in late 2019. Requiring any “hot” crop to be destroyed by a third party as well as the requirement for all labs testing THC levels to be DEA certified promised to bring hardship for hemp farmers and their 2020 crop.

The original ruling of the USDA was for all hemp to be tested through a DEA-approved laboratory. When roughly four dozen of these labs exist nationwide this raised concern for the ability to get all crops tested within the time constraints. The USDA has now issued a new ruling stating that for this crop year laboratories do not have to complete the DEA certification process, and the only requirement is that the testing facility be regarded by the state to be reliable and capable.

The government has also decided that farmers should be allowed to destroy their own crop in the event that crop tests “hot” rather than requiring farmers to hire a contractor to do so. This ruling allows farmers to mechanically shred the plants in the field and till them back into the soil which will provide soil nutrients for the next crop.

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