The Oregon Department of Agriculture(“ODA”) held a public hearing on the proposed industrial hemp rules to amend the registration and reporting requirements for hemp growers and handlers. The regulations require anyone who wants to sell, store or transfer industrial hemp to register with the ODA. The rules cover industrial hemp that is grown for use as hemp commodities as well as personal consumption. The new rules are expected to be in effect for the 2019 annual registration process.
Industrial hemp that is intended for personal consumption is also subject to additional requirements currently being drafted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC"). The OLCC met with the rules advisory committee to review the draft version of the new hemp regulations. The OLCC plans to incorporate comments from the advisory committee and hold a public hearing in mid November. Advisory committee members raised the following concerns about the draft rules
Industrial hemp extract must be tested to ensure that it remains below the THC limits. Advisory committee members were concerned that the ODA requirers growers to test hemp 28 days prior to harvest, which might mean that the THC levels may be over the 0.3% limit at the time of harvest and even higher at the time of extraction. The open issue is whether the batch needs to be destroyed, remediated or can be reclassified as a marijuana product.
As testing increases the cost of the end product, there is an issue as to whether the obligation to test for THC potency and pesticides should be incurred by the grower, handler or processor.
It is unclear whether industrial hemp that is grown for hemp commodity products must be entered into the seed-to-sale tracking system, or when this decision must be made.