Hemp Sample Testing

DEA-Registered Hemp Testing Laboratories

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) authorized the cultivation of hemp and removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) schedule of Controlled Substances. Hemp must have a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level of 0.3% or less on a dry weight basis. However, weather and other factors may affect the THC level in Cannabis crops intended to be hemp, so testing laboratories may receive material that is over the legal THC level. 

USDA's final rule, 7 CFR Part 990, Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program, requires that starting December 31, 2022, testing of hemp must be conducted by laboratories registered with the DEA.

The final rule explains "any laboratory testing hemp for purposes of regulatory compliance must be registered with DEA to conduct chemical analysis of controlled substances in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.13. This requirement also applies to any PRIVATE laboratory testing hemp throughout the growing season to informally monitor THC concentration (emphasis added). Registration is necessary because laboratories could potentially handle cannabis that tests above 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis, which is, by definition, marijuana and a Schedule 1 controlled substance."

Until December 31, 2022, growers may elect to submit their own samples to monitor THC levels throughout the growing season to labs that are not yet DEA registered. Find DEA-registered labs listed on USDA's hemp website

Note, MDARD must still collect official samples of each hemp lot prior to harvesting to meet USDA final rule and state regulatory requirements. Growers must submit a request for sampling online at least 20 days prior to their anticipated harvest date and no earlier than 30 days prior.

MDARD Geagley Laboratory

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