Final Friday, the U.S. Division of Agriculture (“USDA”) released a statement, in which the agency clarified that the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill rendered the importation of hemp seeds legal.
As we previously explained, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, hemp seeds, and other derivatives, by removing them from the Controlled Substance Act. Accordingly, the USDA held that the DEA “no longer has authority to demand hemp seed permits for import purposes.”
The agency additional explained that the statement aimed to present help to U.S. producers and hemp seed exporters who have repeatedly requested help from the USDA.
Certainly, the USDA received various comments pertaining to this situation through its March 13 webinar. Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) was amongst some of the commentators who requested help with hemp importations. According to the Montana senator, the DEA was blocking Montana farmers from importing hemp seeds. USDA Executive Director, Sonny Perdue, explained that when the USDA was in the procedure of promulgating guidelines and regulations, farmers registered beneath an current state analysis pilot system, pursuant to the 2014 Farm Bill, had been permitted to import and cultivate hemp.
In its statement, the USDA maintained Perdue’s statement and additional clarified that the agency now holds authority more than hemp seeds and aims “to present an option way for the secure importation of hemp seeds into the United States.” Especially, the USDA set forth techniques in which hemp seeds really should be imported from Canada and other foreign nations.
Hemp seeds imported from Canada should be accompanied by:
- a phytosanitary certification from Canada’s national plant protection organization to confirm the origin of the seed and confirm that no plant pests are detected or
- a Federal Seed Evaluation Certificate (SAC, PPQ Type 925) for hemp seeds grown in Canada.
Hemp seeds imported from nations other than Canada, should be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country’s national plant protection organization to confirm the origin of the seed and confirm that no plant pests are detected.
The agency additional explained that “ Hemp seed shipments may perhaps be inspected upon arrival at the initially port of entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to guarantee USDA regulations are met, such as certification and freedom from plant pests.”
As USDA Commission Purdue has expressed on various occasions, the hemp rule producing procedure will take some time offered the complicated nature of the crop and its close connection with marijuana. Even so, even if hemp will not be grown pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill till regulations are in spot, hemp growers who are registered beneath state pilot applications, and who comply with the newly released importation needs, are cost-free to import hemp seeds devoid of the threat of DEA enforcement.