USDA gives Virginia approval to continue regulating hemp production


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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced the U.S. 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 needed because starting Jan. 1, 2022, the production of hemp throughout the country will need to comply with the 2018 federal Farm Bill’s hemp provisions and USDA’s Domestic Hemp Production Program regulations.

“While the new federal hemp regulations require some adjustments to VDACS’s Industrial Hemp Program, we intend to continue the productive, supportive relationship we have had with Virginia’s hemp producers since our program was established,” said Brad Copenhaver, Commissioner of VDACS. “By operating this program under USDA’s new requirements, we aim to provide our hemp industry with certainty and parity, as all of the nation’s hemp producers are now expected to comply with the same set of rules.”

Some new changes to the VDAC’s regulations include:

  • Requiring applicants for an industrial hemp grower Registration to submit a criminal history report to VDACS.
  • Now requiring registered industrial hemp growers to test the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of their hemp lots 30 days before it harvested. 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 USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

The department said it has begun directly communicating these new requirements to industrial hemp growers and will release applications for trained sampling agents and testing laboratories.

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

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

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