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USDA plans for the first hemp crop survey this October.

Paula Mohr, Editor, The Farmer

September 1, 2021

4 Min Read
hemp plants
LOOKING AHEAD: The application period opens Nov. 1 for Minnesota hemp growers for the 2022 crop.Paula Mohr

 

Minnesota’s temporary rule regarding industrial hemp has been adopted, the state’s department of agriculture recently announced.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture officials conducted the expedited rulemaking process to bring the state’s Industrial Hemp Program in line with the state plan approved in May by USDA.

The rule outlines the production and regulation of hemp in Minnesota, including licensing, testing, and reporting requirements. The rule can be found on the Minnesota Revisor’s website.

Some details of the rule include:

• A hemp crop must be tested no more than 30 days before harvest to ensure the plants fall below the 0.3% total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level.

• A producer must not harvest a hemp lot unless a sample has been collected by the sampling agent no more than 30 days before the harvest. A sample must be collected by a sampling agent. A producer is prohibited from collecting a sample from the producer's own growing facility.

• Remediation is allowed if hemp plants exceed the 0.3% total THC threshold but test under 1% total THC.

• A cannabis plant with a THC level exceeding the acceptable hemp THC level constitutes marijuana, a Schedule I Controlled Substances Act drug, and the grower must dispose of the noncompliant plants by using a Drug Enforcement Agency-registered reverse distributor or law enforcement agency. Or the grower must dispose of the noncompliant plants on-site at the farm or the hemp production facility.

According to MDA hemp officials, federal and state law allow any grower with hemp testing and exceeding 0.3% and at or less than 1% total THC can either destroy their crop with no violation, or remediate their hemp by either removing floral material or adding to floral material stalks, stems, leaves and seeds of hemp in the same tested lot. This requires the grower to work with the MDA to ensure that the process is completed, and that the resulting material is compliant with the definition of legal hemp.

Removing and destroying the floral material that contains the majority of the THC in the plant would allow for the remaining stalks to be sold for fiber and seeds for oil or food. Or, the flower could be mixed into other plant material that does not contain THC, thereby diluting the final material below the legal acceptable THC level by dry weight.

Prior to the passage of the final hemp rule that allowed for remediation of hemp, all fields had to be destroyed.

Any hemp that exceeds 1% total THC must be destroyed and counts as a negligent violation — growers who receive three negligent violations in a five-year period cannot produce hemp in the U.S. for another five-year period. Growers are not subject to criminal enforcement for negligent violations.

This temporary rule is effective until August 16, 2023. The MDA will conduct a formal rulemaking process prior to the 2023 expiration.

• A license from the MDA is required for individuals and businesses to grow, process, research, or breed hemp in the state. A license must be renewed on an annual basis. Anyone growing on tribal lands within a reservation’s boundaries or other lands under tribal jurisdiction (e.g., trust lands off-reservation) must obtain a license from the tribe or the USDA if the tribe does not have an approved hemp production plan.

In 2021, MDA registered 176 grower-only licensees, 77 processor-only licensees and166 grower and processor licensees. Registered acres and square feet were 5,241 outdoor acres and 2.95 million indoor square feet. Actual planted numbers will be available after the end of the season.

The application period for growers for 2022 opens Nov. 1.

Questions about the MDA’s Industrial Hemp Program? Email [email protected] or call 651-201-6600.

USDA plans hemp survey this fall

In October, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will mail its first Hemp Acreage and Production Survey. The survey will collect information on the total planted and harvested area, yield, production and value of hemp in the U.S.

The Hemp Acreage and Production survey will provide needed data about the hemp industry to assist producers, regulatory agencies, state governments, processors and other key industry entities.

Producers will be able to complete the survey online, or they may complete and return the survey by mail using the provided return envelope.

For more information, visit USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service-Surveys-Hemp.

 

About the Author(s)

Paula Mohr

Editor, The Farmer

Mohr is former editor of The Farmer.

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