( File photo )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has begun the process to create regulations for a program for commercial production of industrial hemp in the U.S.

Once complete, information gathered by the agency will be used to write regulations that will include provisions for both federally regulated hemp production and a process for the submission of state, and Indian tribal plans to the USDA, according to a news release.

The agency said regulations for states or tribes who submit plans will include provisions for:

  • Land to be used for planting; 
  • Testing; 
  • Effective disposal of plants and products; 
  • Compliance with law enforcement;
  • Annual inspections; 
  • Submission of information to USDA; and 
  • Certification that resources and personnel are available to carry out the practices and procedures described above. 

The release said state or Indian tribal nations do not need to submit plans for approval until regulations are in place.

The law requires USDA to complete its review of plans within 60 days once regulations are effective.

USDA is also required to establish a plan to monitor and regulate the production of hemp in those states or Indian tribes that do not have an approved state or tribal plan.

The USDA’s intention to issue regulations by the fall of this year to accommodate the 2020 planting season. 

The agency said a farm bill listening session on industrial hemp production will occur on March 13, with more details to follow. For questions on the hemp regulations [email protected]