Hemp growers got a Halloween Trick or Treat when the USDA released new regulations on October 31st. Vermont farmers are in a panic over the implications of the new rules. “An official with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets who oversees the state’s hemp program, estimated under the proposed federal rule, 70% of the crop in the state would not be in compliance.” In other words, many hemp farmers just grew a crop this summer that will be no longer be federally legal next year. At NEK Hemp, we always figured law enforcement would influence the rules in favor of the most strict standards. So we were prepared for this ruling, even if we don’t agree with it in principle.
For scientific reasons, we think that there should be greater tolerance for the natural variance of THC in testing results. Variable growing conditions and genetics make it very challenging to meet the arbitrary standard of .3% THC. The Vermont rules which allow farmers to grow hemp crops up to 1% THC is more reasonable. Nonetheless, we carefully selected and breed our strains so that we can comply with the strictest rules. Our Cherry Wine, Boax, and Barton Mountain Blend hemp strains all consistently test below the .3% THC limit by a trusted third party (DEA approved lab). We have looked at other strains, but the THC levels simply vary too much to risk non-compliance. We have had great success in making premium products with our strains due to their robust cannabinoid and terpene profile with very low THC.
Even more troubling for some hemp farmers, the latest rules require the calculation of Total THC. There are various forms of THC, but the two most common are ∆9 THC and THCA. “Total THC refers to the legal argument that in order for a particular cannabis sample to meet the definition of hemp set forth in the 2018 Farm Bill both the ∆9 THC and the THCA concentrations must be taken into consideration. Specifically, in order to determine whether a specific hemp sample is legally compliant the ∆9 THC levels in a hemp sample must be added to 87.7% of the THCA levels in a hemp sample.” NEK Hemp always expected this rule and are a little surprised that others argue we should ignore THCA. We believe that hemp should contain more Total CBD than Total THC so that customers know what they are putting in their bodies and how it will affect them. NEK Hemp will always put our customer safety first and we will comply with the strictest federal standards so that we can sell to all 50 states.