Author: Martha Hernández
Journal: Cannabis Science and Technology, January/February 2023
Abstract: Hemp was legalized federally in the U.S. when the 2018 Farm Bill was passed. However, due to the close relationship between hemp which is legal, and cannabis which is not, the hemp industry is strictly regulated by the federal government. Hemp that has a THC concentration exceeding 0.3% on a dry weight basis is classified as cannabis and is illegal. Consequently, hemp growers are obligated to test the hemp that they produce and ensure that it is not “hot hemp”. With increasingly more entrepreneurs getting into hemp cultivation, there’s a big opportunity for hemp testing. However, laboratories looking to get into this niche must be familiar with the rules set by the USDA to regulate hemp testing. These rules are contained in the hemp Final Rule which took effect in March 2021. This tutorial article describes the USDA’s hemp testing rules and how laboratories can follow them with ease to avoid regulatory pitfalls.