§ 1639p establishes new procedure for submitting a plan for hemp cultivation programs for both States and Indian Tribes. The Act provides that these entities must include the following within their plan submissions:
- A plan to maintain information regarding the land on which the hemp will be grown, including a legal description of the land, for at least three years;
- Procedures for testing THC levels, by using post-decarboxylation or other reliable testing methods;
- A procedure for disposal of hemp or products in violation of the Act (example: a hemp plant containing more than .3% dry weight THC); and
- A procedure to comply with the enforcement procedures of the Act.
The submitted plan may include any other practice or procedure for regulating the growth of hemp, as long as such practices are consistent with the Act. The Secretary of Agriculture must approve the plan no later than sixty (60) days after receipt of the submitted plan, if it complies with the requirements noted above. If the plan is disapproved, the applicant may submit an amended plan. The Secretary may also provide technical assistance in developing the plan.
If a hemp producer negligently violates a provision within its State’s plan or Tribal plan, the State department of agriculture or Tribal government may provide for a corrective action plan to ensure the hemp producer’s compliance. If the hemp producer commits three violations within a five year period, their ability to produce hemp is revoked for a period of five years, beginning on the date of their third violation. Lastly, under § 1639p, the Secretary of Agriculture has sole authority to issue federal regulations and guidelines relating to the production of hemp.
Keep in mind that each State has the right to elect whether to participate or not. Under the concept of dual sovereignty, States are free to continue to outlaw hemp and hemp products or derivatives.
In Texas, HB1325 established a hemp-growth program in Texas. Under HB1325, you will require a hemp grower’s license if you want to grow hemp in Texas. The Texas Department of Agriculture will be responsible for issuing hemp grower licenses once the State of Texas receives federal approval of its hemp-growth plan.