DEA to Allow Uncertified Labs to Test Hemp

The Drug Enforcement Agency says it won’t require all labs testing the THC levels of U.S. hemp to be certified by the agency during the 2020 crop year. Politico says that offers producers a little more flexibility because it will alleviate potential bottlenecks at the more limited number of labs that have the certification.

When the department first released its initial regulatory framework for hemp production, farmers and state regulators pointed out that some states don’t have a lab certified by the DEA. That would greatly slow down testing, which is required to happen during a 15-day window before harvest. Delays would eventually threaten the market viability of the crop.

Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach announced the change during remarks given to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).

The department is also planning to give states more options for disposing of “hot hemp,” which are plants with THC levels above 0.3 percent, which is the legal threshold.