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The USDA Interim Rules have been put forth so this is the time for all of us to submit comments. There are a number of issues we feel that should be addressed including:
• That THC limits will include both THC Delta 9 and THCa. This will make it extremely hard for farmer to grow hemp crops which are considered legal. We recommend a higher total THC limit in the range of .5% – 1%.
• The Rules state that samples for testing must be taken within 15 days of harvest and done by a USDA registered agent. Fifteen days is too short of a window given the potential delay by approved testing labs and the potential delays imposed by weather. We recommend a window of 30-45 days.
The Rule stating that all Testing facilities must have a DEA certification could place a stranglehold on the harvest since obtaining DEA certificate can take 6-12 months to secure. We recommend that the DEA be required to issue permits within 60-90 days from submission, and if they are not able to meet that timeframe, the testing facility may proceed without incurring any negative consequences.
The State of Kentucky chose to do an interesting thing today. They decided to not submit a plan to the USDA and will continue to operate under the 2014 rules. This may very well eliminate the concerns laid out in the new USDA Rules and give them time to see how they are modified this yea.