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Hemp Sample Testing
Hemp Sample Testing
MDARD Industrial Hemp Training
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
MDARD collects official regulatory samples of hemp and submits them to MDARD’s Geagley Laboratory for analysis of THC compliance. MDARD does have the ability as described in Public Act 220 of 2020, the Industrial Hemp Growers Act, as amended, to utilize other laboratories as needed.
For preharvest and remediation samples, growers will be emailed a lab test report showing total delta-9-THC and total CBD percentages for each composite sample collected (1 composite sample per hemp lot). See this announcement for information on how to read test results.
2021 THC Testing
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) fall 2021 industrial hemp pre-harvest regulatory sample testing results can be found here for your reference. This document does not contain all test results for 2021 (late winter/early spring 2021 results and samples received after November 22, 2021 do not appear).
Results show the “variety” of each regulatory sample collected by MDARD inspectors during the fall 2021 season. The “variety” was reported by the grower, and MDARD makes no claims as to the validity of the variety reported. The percentages of total delta-9 THC and CBD are reported for each sample, along with the lab analysis date. Noncompliant samples had a THC percentage higher than 0.36% THC, which is 0.3% THC plus the lab’s THC measurement of uncertainty of 0.06.
Out of 270 official regulatory hemp samples collected in 2021, 8.15% of the samples were noncompliant. Only 1 out of 6 lots grown for fiber was noncompliant, while the remaining noncompliant lots were grown for smokable flower, cannabinoids, or both. Growers overwhelmingly reported growing for smokable flower and cannabinoids (90.7%) compared to fiber, grain, microgreens, or seed.
Compliance Monitoring Samples
At this time, the Geagley Laboratory tests hemp regulatory samples collected by MDARD only. The lab does not currently accept hemp samples from growers or processors.