USDA gives Virginia approval to continue regulating hemp production

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has announced that the United States Department of Agriculture has approved its plan to regulate hemp production.

The VDACS said this allows the department to be the primary regulator of hemp production in Virginia.

This approval was necessary because from January 1, 2022, hemp production nationwide will have to comply with the provisions of the 2018 Federal Hemp Farm Bill and USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program regulations.

“While the new federal hemp regulations require some adjustments to the VDACS Industrial Hemp Program, we intend to continue the productive and supportive relationship we have had with Virginia hemp growers since our program inception. ”Said Brad Copenhaver, Commissioner of VDACS. “By implementing this program in accordance with the new USDA requirements, we aim to provide our hemp industry with certainty and parity, as all hemp growers nationwide must now adhere to the same set of rules.”

Some of the new regulatory changes for VDAC include:

  • Require applicants to register an industrial hemp grower to submit a criminal history report to VDACS.
  • Now require registered industrial hemp growers to test their batches of hemp for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels 30 days before harvest. This should be done using private sampling agents and testing laboratories.
  • It will also now require registered industrial hemp growers to report certain crop information to the USDA Farm Service Agency.

The department said it had started communicating these new requirements directly to industrial hemp growers and would issue requests for trained sampling officers and testing labs.

The VDACS said if the federal government provides more flexible regulations for hemp production in the future, the VADC would consider changes that could benefit growers in Virginia.

You can find more information on these and other requirements for growing industrial hemp online. here.

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