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Analysis & Commentary on the USDA Final Hemp Rules 

as published by the USDA on the Federal Register, January 19, 2021 

Analysis & Commentary on the USDA Final Hemp Rules 

as published by the USDA on the Federal Register, January 19, 2021 

This is a general analysis and breakdown of the final hemp rules as published on the Federal Register in January 2021. This is not legal advice or any form of legal analysis. It is, however, some analysis and commentary of the implications as they impact the hemp industry. Separate guidelines for sampling and testing were also provided by the USDA and published on their website. These guidelines are worth reading, are written plainly, and in a format so as not to warrant a separate overview. For reference, we have linked to those published guidelines as well as the final published rule at the bottom of this page. Also at the end of this page is a condensed list of definitions as published by the USDA. We highly recommend reading through some of those definitions, considering the implications they have. 

Key Points

The new final rules bring a lot of necessary clarification and some relatively positive updates to the regulations. This short hotlist of items briefly explains the most important parts of this new rule. We strongly urge everyone to read the full rules as published, if not the deeper explanations later on this page. 

  • The legal definition of hemp is any part of the cannabis plant containing 0.3% Delta-9 THC or less. Anything above 0.3% is considered marijuana, and is listed as a DEA Schedule 1 controlled substance. This is outlined in the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, the Controlled Substances Act, the 2014 Farm Bill, and the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA does not have the authority to change this definition. Legislation would be required to change this definition or the THC threshold. 

  • The USDA clarified that they do not regulate or make any rules about Delta-8 THC as it occurs in such small quantities in the plant. 

  • The USDA will not regulate WIPHE (work-in-progress hemp extracts). The USDA jurisdiction only applies to growing hemp, not the processing of it, which is covered by the DEA and FDA. 

  • The USDA further clarified that official compliance testing for hemp must be done as a measure of "Total THC" by dry weight. This means analyzing the sample as if the THCA had been decarboxylated and moisture has been removed from the sample. We'll get into more specifics on this later, but it's an important and rather unpopular ruling. 

  • The sampling requirements changed as well, with official guidelines stating that the top 5-8 inches of the plant needs to be collected, and that sufficient representative samples be taken for each lot to ensure with 95% confidence that no more than 1% of the lot would exceed the 0.3% threshold. Individual State and Tribal plans are now given some leeway on how to sample and test with an allowance for a "performance-based" sampling and testing, as long as they can' meet that 95% confidence about less than 1% of the lot being non-compliant. 

  • Samples collected for compliance testing must be collected by a trained agent or representative of the USDA, State or Tribal plan. The USDA will provide training and training materials for those agents.

  • The next big change from the interim rules is the window for compliance sampling has changed from 15 to 30 days prior to harvest. They clarified that further by assuring growers that they can harvest prior to receiving their test results, but the samples must be collected no more than 30 days prior to harvest. The only post-harvest sampling and testing for compliance that is allowed is for remediated crops. 

  • Yes... remediation. The final rules allow for remediation of "hot" or non-compliant hemp. One way is to remove and destroy all flower material from the plant, salvaging the leaf, stalk, and seed. The other method outlined was turning the crop into biomass by mulching together all plant materials. Remediated crops will need to be tested again for compliance prior to any commerce. 

  • The USDA is allowing for alternative on-farm methods of destruction of non-compliant hemp, including tilling, mulching, burning, and disking. They also mention this doesn't need to be done under official supervision, as long as it is properly documented and reported. 

  • While there is no change to threshold for non-compliant hemp, there is a big change in the threshold for what is considered "negligent" hemp production. This changed from 0.5% THC to a full 1% THC, meaning that the USDA considers hemp grown in good faith if the total THC is below 1%. Anything above that is considered a "negligent" violation of the rules. 

  • The USDA stated clearly that a producer can only get ONE negligent ruling per year. This being the case, if someone gets 3 negligent rulings in a 5-year period, they will have their license suspended. 

  • Testing labs (ALL testing labs) will need to be registered with the DEA. They are not required (yet are recommended) to have ISO 17025 accreditation. 

  • Anyone with a felony conviction related to controlled substances is barred from getting a hemp license or being a key participant in an organization with a hemp license for 10 years after conviction. 

  • They clarify some language and provisions about Tribal authority, extending it to anything within the geographic boundary of the Tribal territory, and including Tribal community areas.

  • Tribal Leadership may be exempt from the 10 year moratorium on participation due to a felony conviction relating to controlled substances. 


General Scope 

  • The USDA Final Rules for hemp only regulate the production of hemp plants. It doesn’t cover products or processing. This means it doesn’t cover intermediary compounds such as WIPHE (work in progress hemp extracts) or CBD and other cannabinoid products (including medicinal cannabis) which fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA and DEA. The medicinal use of cannabis is under the jurisdiction of the FDA. 

  • This rule covers hemp, as defined by the AMA1946 as amended by the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2018 Farm Bill, as well as the CSA. Any cannabis over 0.3% total THC is considered marijuana by these laws and is under the jurisdiction of the DEA. The USDA doesn’t have the authority to alter this. 

  • The PVPO (Plant Variety Protection Office) is accepting apps for plant variety protection. Farmers can apply to protect their hemp genetics.

  • The 2014 Farm Bill Pilot Program was extended until January 1, 2022. After that, all domestic hemp production must adhere to these rules. 

  • D8THC and WIPHE (work-in-progress hemp extracts) are not regulated by the USDA. 

  • The Rule doesn’t apply to testing seeds or stalks. 

  • This rule doesn’t cover exporting hemp, but USDA will work with the industry and Federal agencies to help with that, if the need arises. 

  • The USDA doesn’t cover processing or licensing of hemp/CBD processors. 

  • If any provision within subsection 990 is found invalid, the remainder of these rules will still apply.


  • To participate in the hemp program, a full criminal background check must be done. Anyone with a felony conviction related to a controlled substance is prohibited from getting licensed or authorized to produce hemp for 10 years from the date of conviction. An exemption is made for those producing hemp under the 2014 farm bill. This conforms to AMA and 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA doesn’t have authority to change this.  

  • Anyone who falsifies information in an application for licensing or authorization will be ineligible.  

  • Applications for USDA licenses will be accepted on a rolling basis. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant. All USDA licenses will be valid until December 31st of the 3rd year after the license was issued. State and Tribal plans may have different application and licensing periods. USDA licenses must be renewed prior to the expiration date by a renewal application or a new license application must be submitted. License modification must be submitted if there is a change of address, location, sale of business, change in ownership, or key participants.  

  • An applicant operating in the territory of a State or Tribe with an approved or pending State or Tribal plan must apply under that State or Tribal plan. A USDA license will not be granted to a producer in a State or Tribe that has an approved or pending State or Tribal plan or where hemp production is prohibited. Applications must be complete and accurate and truthful. They may not be a stand-in for a revoked or suspended license. They may not be granted to someone who is already licensed or has a revoked or currently suspended license. 

  • Licenses may not be sold, transferred, pledged, alienated or encumbered.  

  • A license may be suspended if the licensee violated the regulations or failed to comply with a written order related to negligence. A suspended license may be restored after a waiting period of one year.  

  • A license will be revoked if a licensee is convicted of, or pleads guilty to a felony related to controlled substances OR was found to be growing hot hemp with a culpable mental state OR was negligently violating the rules 3 times within a 5-year period. A suspension may be appealed within 30 days of receipt of notification. 

  • Applicants who have been rejected by the USDA, denied renewal, had a license suspended or revoked, can appeal to the AMS for a period of 30 days from said judgement. A final determination will be made after said appeal. Those determinations are final unless a formal adjudicatory proceeding is requested within 30 days from that determination. 

  • The USDA may conduct random audits once every 3 years of licensees to verify that hemp is being produced according to these rules. Such audits may be remote or in-person and include visits to production locations, assessment of operations, procedures, documentation, and record keeping. An audit report will be issued to the licensee within 60 days of the audit.  



  • These rules do not cover imported seed. That is under the jurisdiction of the APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service).

  • Importing seeds from Canada is OK with a phytosanitary certificate from Canada's National Plant Protection organization or a Federal Seed Analysis certificate. Importing seeds from other countries requires a phytosanitary certificate from that country. 

  • The USDA is not establishing a seed certification program for hemp. For this rule, certification of seeds only means tested or verified for varietal purity or genetics. The USDA recommends certified seeds, but doesn’t require them. Some states, however, may require seed certification in their plans. All seed certification must be done by a 3rd party and should be done according to AOSCA standards. Seed certification doesn't guarantee that THC will be within the legal threshold. 

  • The Rule doesn’t apply to testing seeds or stalks. 


Sampling and Testing 

  • Pre-harvest testing is required for compliance. If pre-harvest testing shows non-compliant THC levels, the producer may request a re-test of the pre-harvest sample collected and pay for the cost of the re-test. Also, a producer may request a test of remediated samples post-harvest. 

  • Sampling must be done by an authorized agent with the licensee or authorized representative of the producer present at the sampling site if possible. The authorized agent must be given complete and unrestricted access to any and all hemp plants, storage, grow houses, or other related structures and areas during business hours. These agents must be trained by the USDA, State or Tribal Authority. The USDA will provide greater resources for training sampling agents. 

  • Harvests must be within 30 days of sampling or a new pre-harvest sample must be collected at the cost of the producer. Farmers may commence harvesting prior to receiving test results. No product may go to market prior to receiving results. The only time post-harvest samples can be used for testing is after remediation of a crop that was previously tested from pre-harvest samples and determined to be non-compliant. Non-compliant lots must either be remediated or destroyed. 

  • Sampling will be done by cutting the top 5-8 inches from the main stem, including cola, leaf, etc. 

  • Sampling methods must be representative of an entire lot and done with a 95% certainty that no more than 1% of plants will produce THC content above the 0.3% threshold. The USDA published sampling charts to determine the number of samples per acre, as well as outlining methodology for sampling in their Sampling Guidelines.

  • The testing method used must calculate the total THC. This means either decarboxylated sample preparation or adding THCA (x87.7%) and Delta-9 THC together. Testing is to be done by dry weight basis (further defined as after excluding the moisture from the plant). Such testing methods include (but aren’t limited to) utilizing Gas Chromatography (GC) or Liquid Chromatography (LC) with detection. Genetic testing has not been determined to be similarly reliable as GC or LC and is not an acceptable form of testing for these purposes. 

  • To ensure that samples are within the 0.3% threshold, labs are required to report MU. That MU must be determined by using AOAC or other such validated methods. The USDA is not setting any MU standards including any maximum or minimum at this time, however a State or Tribe may include such standards in their proposed plans. 

  • Testing labs must have quality assurance that demonstrably ensures the validity and reliability of their test results, meaning that the testing method is sufficiently sensitive for the detection requirements, appropriate, and that they can successfully perform the testing required. Labs must also have an effective disposal protocol for samples. 

  • Testing protocols, as outlined in the USDA Hemp Testing Guidelines, call for drying the sample until it is brittle (5%-10% moisture) or freezing the sample at -20°C and then calculating the moisture out of the sample after analysis, grinding the sample (including stem, twig, seed, and flower) to homogenize it, separating the sample to immediately test some and retain another portion for possible re-testing, determine the moisture content or dry to a consistent weight, perform analysis, calculate the THC percentage on a dry weight basis, report the results with a measurement of uncertainty. Samples must be stored in a secure location and in appropriate containers. 

  • The guidelines also state that Laboratories should meet the AOAC International standard method performance requirements for Quantitation of Cannabinoids in Plant Materials of Hemp. 

  • Performance-based sampling may be adopted by individual State or Tribal plans, but it must meet the requirements of a 95% certainty that no more than 1% of plants will produce THC above the 0.3% threshold. In proposing alternative sampling and testing protocols for their respective plans, States and Tribes may consider seed certification process that identify cultivars that demonstrably result in compliant hemp, whether the producer is conducting research for a higher learning institution or that is State or Federally funded, whether a producer has consistently yielded compliant hemp over several years/seasons AND/OR other such relevant factors. If such sampling protocols are not included in a State or Tribal plan, they must adhere to guidelines from the USDA and every lot by every producer must be sampled and tested. 

  • All hemp official compliance testing labs must be registered with the DEA according to the CSA (Controlled Substances Act). Enforcement of that provision starts Oct 2021. The rule states that labs testing for monitoring or other purposes must be registered with the DEA as well, as they may at some point be in possession of marijuana, as it is defined by the CSA, AMA1946 and 2018 Farm Bill. Enforcement of that provision is delayed until December 2022. 

  • At this time, the USDA will not provide a lab certification program, nor does it require ISO accreditation, although it is recommended. The USDA is looking into options and may require this or its own certification the future. The USDA doesn’t have any authority over the DEA lab accreditation process.  

  • Lab re-testing of pre-harvest samples may be requested by the producer and at the cost of the producer if they believe the THC levels were in error. Post-harvest testing may only be used after remediation if the pre-harvest samples tested were non-compliant.  

  • The USDA will conduct random audits of licensees to verify that hemp is being produced according to these rules. 

  • The rule doesn’t provide any requirements for testing final products, rather it requires testing of hemp plants regardless of use. They may adopt further rules for products later on.  

  • Operations cultivating hemp that don’t bring the plant to the flowering stage may not meet the same sampling requirements as operations that do grow to the flowering stage. The USDA gives States and Tribes some latitude in determining appropriate testing protocols for those scenarios. Similarly, sampling and testing flexibility is afforded to research institutions and organizations but they still need to conform to the 95% certainty that no more than 1% of the lot exceeds the 0.3% THC threshold. 

  • State and Tribal plans submitted must include specific requirements for sampling that conform to final rule regarding where to cut flower from the plant. However, a specific volume of material is not established. Length is specified as 5-8 inches from the main stem including leaves and flowers and the terminal bud/cola. Floral material must be intact to assure that what is submitted for testing is, indeed, flower. 

  • The USDA recommends that States and Tribes develop proficiency and testing methods similar to the University of KY, but this is not required by these rules. 

  • The Rule doesn’t apply to testing seeds or stalks. It also doesn’t cover testing processed goods. 


Disposal and Remediation 

  • Any cannabis produced that tests above the 0.3% total THC threshold must be destroyed or remediated. 

  • Producers must notify the ruling authority of their intent to destroy or remediate crops and provide documentation. 

  • Remediation of non-compliant hemp may be done by removing flower and salvaging stalk/leaf/seed OR blending flower with other material to produce biomass that is tests at a compliant THC concentration. 

  • Destruction may be done without DEA or law enforcement oversight as long as it is thoroughly documented and reported with photography or video. 

  • Destruction may include on-farm methods such as plowing under (green manure) tilling, disking, burial, and burning. Any such destruction requires documentation and reporting. 

  • If a producer chooses removing non-compliant plants from their property, such removal must be collected by a DEA authorized person (like DEA-registered reverse distributor or law enforcement officer). 

  • Any remediated hemp must be subsequently tested for compliant THC concentration prior to entering commerce. 

  • Plant disposal requirements do not apply to culling males, hermaphrodites, blighted plants, etc.  

  • States and Tribes with approved plans must notify the USDA of any non-compliant crops, as well as report on the destruction or remediation of those crops on a monthly basis. Producers under the USDA plan must report directly to the USDA. 

  • The USDA published remediation and disposal guidelines outlining the various methods and processes that are acceptable.

Negligence and Violations 

  • Negligence includes failure to properly report land usage, failure to obtain a license or authorization, producing hemp that exceeds 1% total THC on a dry weight basis. Anything below 1% produced with proper procedures is not considered negligent. Negligent violations are NOT subject to criminal enforcement. 

  • If negligence is determined, a corrective action plan is to be administered by the State or Tribe OR USDA which includes steps to be taken to correct the violation within a reasonable date and the reporting requirements necessary to demonstrate a compliance. Negligent producers must report to the regulatory authority periodically during the term of the corrective action plan which will be no less than 2 years after negligent violation. Tribes or States must conduct an inspection to determine if corrective action has been implemented. The USDA may conduct random testing or audits of licensees to verify that hemp is being produced according to these rules. A producer who negligently violates this plan will be subject to a new plan with heightened quality control, training, and measures. 

  • A producer may only receive one negligence ruling per calendar year. If 3 negligent violations occur in a 5 year period, the producer’s license will be suspended and they will be ineligible to produce hemp for a 5-year period from the date of the 3rd violation.  

  • A license may also be suspended for conduct violating these rules. Producers who have had a license suspended will be prohibited from producing hemp for the term of that suspension. A producer may appeal this decision. If that appeal is denied, the producer may request a formal adjudication within 30 days. If their license isn’t restored, they may have their license restored after a waiting period of one year from the date of suspension. If the license was issued more than 3 years before the proposed reinstatement, they must submit a new application.  

  • Violations that are due to culpable mental state greater than negligence, meaning intentional, knowing, or reckless disregard for these rules, must be reported to the Attorney General and the chief Law Enforcement Officer of that State or Tribe. Such violations are subject to criminal enforcement and may result in the revocation of licensure.

  • There is a process for appealing findings of negligence outlined in the rules, which is briefly explained above in the section on Licensing.   

Record Keeping and Reporting 

  • All licensed or authorized producers must maintain records for at least 3 years. These records must include all hemp plants acquired, produced, handled, stored, disposed of, or remediated. These records must also include business name, contact details of any business and key participants, as well as EIN’s and/or Tax ID’s. Such records must be made available to inspectors, auditors, or their representatives during reasonable business hours. 

  • Any confidential data or information will be kept and controlled by the USDA and may be shared with applicable law enforcement as necessary.

  • An annual report must be submitted to the USDA by December 15th of each year.  

  • Land records, including a legal description, acreage, geospatial location of any production facilities, grow houses etc where hemp is produced, stored, or handled, must be maintained and reported to the FSA along with the license or authorization number. All reporting to the FSA must be done within 30 days of any planting of a hemp crop.  

  • Monitoring tests aren’t subject to reporting requirements. 

  • FSA (Farm Service Agency) reporting is required and may be done in person or virtually. 

  • Lots refer to the specific location where hemp is grown and variety (cultivar). FSA will not provide a lot number, but instead designate fields and subfields with an ID number. 

  • Testing labs must report official compliance test results to the ruling State or Tribal authority or the USDA. Informal testing for monitoring is not reported.  

  • The USDA is developing a central database that will share information with law enforcement which includes contact information for the producer, land description, license status and any required State or Tribal authorization.  


  • No State or Tribe may prohibit the transportation of hemp produced legally under these rules.  

  • The USDA recommends that producers transporting hemp carry a copy of their producer’s license and any other information the State or Tribe recommends or requires. Additionally, it recommends carrying copies of lab testing reports, invoices, bill of lading, contact information of any buyer or seller. This is recommended but not required. 

State and Tribal Plans

  • Any state or tribe that wants primary regulatory authority needs to submit a plan to the USDA for approval. The USDA will implement its own plan for states and tribes that don’t submit their own plan. A determination of approval for these plans must be given within 60 days of receipt of the proposal by the USDA. Such determination may be an approval, disapproval, or proposed amendment. State and Tribal plans must be submitted to and approved by the USDA prior to implementation. As long as the plan is more stringent than section G of the Agricultural Marketing Act and the USDA rules, nothing preempts or limits that state or tribal law. A State or Tribe may appeal the denial of a denied, suspended, or revoked hemp plan within 30 days of that determination. The USDA will consult with Tribes and States to amend plans that have been denied, suspended, or revoked. Tribes and States have options to adopt the USDA plan, submit their own plan, or continue under the 2014 Farm Bill pilot program until that law expires on January 1, 2022. 

  • This plan must include provisions to collect, maintain and report monthly to the USDA real-time information for each licensed or authorized hemp producer. This information must include full contact information for an individuals or key participants in a company or organization that is licensed or authorized. The physical description, including address and geospatial location of any area where hemp production is to take place must be included.  

  • The plan must also include procedures for accurate and effective sampling that comply with the USDA rules. There may be wider latitude for States and Tribes to determine how best to sample a lot for compliance to ensure results of 95% certainty that no more than 1% of the crop is out of compliance. Such a performance-based testing protocol can take into account seed certification, varietal, consistency of producer history of compliance, unique geographical or other circumstances. A specific volume of material is not established. Length is specified as 5-8 inches from the main stem including leaves and flowers and the terminal bud/cola. Floral material must be intact to assure that what is submitted for testing is, indeed, flower. If a State or Tribe plan lacks a proper sampling protocol, every lot and every producer will require sampling and testing. 

  • All State and Tribal plans must include disposal of non-compliant plants. This must include some verification of said disposal, whether it be in-person, by photo or video evidence, etc. Such disposal must be reported to the USDA AMS (Agricultural Marketing Service). 

  • All plans submitted need to document that proper resources and personnel are available to implement each plan. USDA will help amend State and Tribal plans to conform with the Final Rules. States and Tribes may develop their own training for collection agents which are required for official compliance sampling. If a State or Tribe doesn’t have an approved hemp plan or chooses not to submit one, then the USDA plan will be adopted for producers in those states UNLESS that State or Tribe has a drafted plan pending approval. 

  • State and Tribal plans may be more restrictive or stringent than the USDA rules, however, no State or Tribe may prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp. 

  • Tribes have sovereignty over the physical and geographical boundaries of their territories unless it doesn’t have a USDA approved hemp plan. Then the USDA plan, not the State plan, will have regulatory authority. 

  • The USDA will conduct random on-site and or desk audits of approved plans once every 3 years to verify that hemp is being produced according to these rules. These audits may analyze resources and personnel, licensing and compliance of producers, sampling and testing methods and requirements, disposal or remediation, reporting practices and information collection, and results of annual inspections of producers. An audit report will be provided to the Tribe or State within 60 days of the audit. If any violation is found, the State or Tribe must develop a corrective action plan with a reasonable date of correction and submit that to the USDA. A determination of that corrective action plan will be made within 60 days of receipt by the USDA. After a subsequent audit, if the State or Tribe is not in compliance, the USDA will revoke their plan for either 1 year or until the State or Tribe becomes compliant, whichever occurs later.  

Supporting Documents


We have condensed the definitions as published by the USDA to only include the most relevant definitions to this overview and analysis. We feel that this section, while expurgated, is representative of the most important definitions outlined in the rules and our analysis.  

  • Act – AMA 1946 (amended by 2018 Farm BIll)  

  • AMS – Agricultural Marketing Service (part of USDA)  

  • Applicant – State or Tribe that has applied for a USDA approved program. AND anyone who has applied for a hemp license under the USDA or approved State or Tribal hemp plan.  

  • Cannabis – the plant in question.  

  • Hemp – anything related to cannabis, derivative, extract, plant, acid, salt, isomer that is contains 0.3% Delta-9 THC or less. 

  • Marijuana – any cannabis plant, derivative, extract, etc, that contains more than 0.3% total THC by dry weight. Does not include the sterilized seeds, mature stalks (except resin extracted) fiber, oil or cake.  

  • CSA – Controlled Substances Act 

  • Conviction – a plea of guilty, nolo contendere, or finding of guilt... unless pardoned, expunged, or overturned by appeal.  

  • Corrective Action Plan – a plan agreed by USDA, State or Tribal authority for a producer to correct negligence.  

  • Culpable Mental State – intent, knowing, willful, reckless, criminal negligence.  

  • Decarboxylated – the completed chemical conversion of THCA into D9THC 

  • Delta-9 THC – Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol. The main psychoactive compound in cannabis.  

  • Disposal – the act of getting rid of cannabis that is non-compliant with the USDA hemp rules.  

  • DEA - Drug Enforcement Agency 

  • Dry Weight Basis – determination of THC content of a sample after excluding moisture from the sample.   

  • FSA – Farm Service Agency 

  • GC – Gas Chromatography  

  • Geospatial Location – location determined by GPS coordinates.  

  • Handle – cultivating or storing hemp plants prior to further processing. Also, disposal.  

  • LC – Liquid Chromatography 

  • Indian Tribe or Tribe – Self-explanatory (officially recognized by the US Govt)  

  • Key Participant – anyone who is an owner, has direct financial interest in, executive authority of a company or organization. Exempting managers, Tribal government members (unless directly in control of hemp production)  

  • Law Enforcement Agency – Federal, State, or Tribal law enforcement.  

  • Lot – contiguous area in a field, greenhouse, or indoor growing structure that contains the same variety or strain of a plant. ALSO batch of contiguous, homogeneous whole of product being sold to a single buyer at a single time. ALSO, farm location, field acreage, and varietal (cultivar) to be reported to the FSA.  

  • Negligence – failure to exercise proper care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise to comply with these rules.  

  • Plan – refers to either the USDA, State or Tribal rules.  

  • Post-Decarboxylation – the sum of Delta-9 THC and THCA (x87.7%) on a dry weight basis. Total THC.  

  • Produce – verb – grow, propagate, cultivate for market.  

  • Producer – a grower, cultivator.  

  • Remediation – techniques utilized to transform non-compliant cannabis into something useful and compliant with these rules.  

  • State – one of the 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, any Territory, protectorate, or possession of the US.  

  • Store – handle by placing in a warehouse, storehouse, etc for safekeeping.  

  • Territory – all the land within the geographic limits of a Tribal Reservation. Dependent Indian Communities.  

  • Total THC – the amount of Delta-9 THC calculated or measured post-decarboxylation. Measured after decarboxylation, or calculated by adding Delta-9 THC and THCA x 87.7%  

  • Tribal Government – the governing body of a recognized Indian Tribe. 


This document was created and published by Telic Labs (formerly Premium CBD Labs) for educational purposes only. This document should not be considered legal advice or as a form of any type of amendment or addendum to the rules as outlined by the USDA. The analysis contained in this document are the opinions held by Telic Labs and is not a legal standpoint or challenge to the rules as published by the USDA. Some of the analysis and points made in this document may be submitted as comment to the USDA Hemp Program Interim Rules at the discretion of Telic Labs and its officers. Telic Labs has prepared and published this document in good faith towards the hemp/cannabis industry and cannot be held liable for any action taken by any individual or company outside of Telic Labs as any other entity is entitled to their own interpretation of the information presented here. While the written contents and analysis of this document are the intellectual property Telic Labs, it is published openly and with permission to share freely only in its entirety (including this paragraph).  

We, at Telic Labs, are committed to promoting the ideas of proper regulation and safety for all hemp and CBD products. As part of that commitment, we endeavor to increase the transparency of this industry by offering expertise and analysis of rules and regulations as they are proposed and adopted, especially if those rules are open to being amended through a process of comment and petition. We feel that this industry is best served by having clearly defined, fair, and accurate sampling and testing methodologies. As a scientific business, we maintain that safety regulations are a must when dealing with any product that is meant for human consumption. We also feel that regulations should not unfairly place a producer in a position of unknowingly committing criminal acts. Simply put, we feel these rules, as they stand, are beneficial in some ways and are rather detrimental in others. While they are open to a comment period and are meant to be amended, we offer this document to help educate and offer perspective on these rules

Key Points
General Scope
Sampling and Testing
Disposal and Remedition
Negligence and Violations
Record Keeping and Reporting
State and Tribal Plans
Supporting Documents
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