Need to You Import Hemp to the United States?


By , Lawyer @Harris Bricken

This weblog posts briefly addresses the dangers and feasibility of engaging in this company at the moment.


Even though the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the commercialization of hemp and its derivatives, the production of the crop has but to be regulated by the U.S. Division of Agriculture (“USDA”), which is tasked with adopting guidelines that will serve as a road map for states and Indian tribes wishing to regulate hemp inside their borders.

The USDA had anticipated issuing its guidelines by the finish of summer time nevertheless, the agency only lately submitted (on September 13) its proposed guidelines to the White Property Workplace of Spending budget and Management (“OBM”), which testimonials all regulations adopted and implemented by a presidential administration. Till this method is comprehensive, we are left with small guidance on the production of hemp, such as its transportation — note that the USDA guidelines had been released nowadays and will be addressed in a further weblog post.

Back in April, the agency issued a statement in which it expressly legalized the importation of hemp seeds and set forth strategies in which the seeds must be imported from Canada and other foreign nations. Then on October 16, the agency quietly updated its recommendations to let the importation of each hemp seeds and plants in the United States. According to the USDA’s webpage, hemp plants for planting that originate from Canada and other foreign nations may perhaps be imported so lengthy as particular specifications are happy. Hemp plants from Canada need to be accompanied by “a phytosanitary certificate from Canada’s NPPO to confirm the origin of the plant and to confirm no plant pests are detected.” Hemp plants from nations other than Canada need to also be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate as properly as an application for a Permit to Import Plants or Plant Goods, greater identified as a  PPQ 587 permit

These new recommendations align with the position taken by some U.S. courts that foreign hemp may perhaps be freely shipped to the U.S.  mainly because hemp is now excluded from the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”)’s definition of marijuana. But, in practicality, these court choices did not get rid of the threat that foreign hemp be seized at the border. This is mainly because hemp is challenging to differentiate from marijuana. The crop appears and smells like its psychoactive cousin, which implies more recommendations had been desperately required from the USDA.

Even though the agency’s recommendations confirm the importation of hemp plants is lawful, the guidelines do not mention the will need to attach a copy of THC testing final results, displaying that the plant meets the .three% THC limit imposed beneath federal law. Consequently, it will be fascinating to see regardless of whether hemp will now freely pass U.S. Customs and Border Protection or if more regulations, such as testing protocols will be required.


In addition to removing the hemp plant from the CSA, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp concentrates and extracts, such as HempCBD. Nonetheless, the new law preserved the authority of the Meals and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to regulate HempCBD items, such as but not restricted to foods and dietary supplements. From the moment hemp and its derivatives had been legalized, the FDA took the position that the use of HempCBD in foods, dietary supplements and unapproved drugs is unlawful in the United States mainly because CBD was currently authorized as an active ingredient in a drug applied in the remedy of epilepsy (i.e., Epidiolex).

Provided the common demand of HempCBD items, the federal agency has been pressured by lawmakers and stakeholders to reconsider its position on CBD and forge a pathway towards legalizing their sale and marketing and advertising in the United States.

Consequently, till the agency adopts new guidelines and regulations, the sale of these items will stay unlawful in the United States, even if manufactured and imported from overseas — though the FDA appears on board with the sale and marketing and advertising of HempCBD topicals.

Re-published with the permission of Harris Bricken and The Canna Law Weblog


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