Organic Hemp Certification
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is no longer a controlled substance and is now a legal agricultural crop in the USA. To apply for certification, request a certification packet. To comply with current NOP instructions, OneCert also asks growers to submit a copy of your state license or registration and an Industrial Hemp Affirmation form.
Although the legalization of hemp is big news for US farmers, hemp grown in other countries has always been certified under the USDA organic regulations. Handling operations in the USA have been certified for products made from imported organic hemp since at least as early as 2004. We are expecting a huge surge in applications for hemp certification in the USA.
The USDA organic regulations do not have any provisions that would restrict the types of products that can be made from organic hemp–including CBD. The definition in the 2018 Farm Bill specifically includes all parts of the hemp plant and all type of products made from hemp.
Subtitle G—Hemp Production ‘‘SEC. 297A. DEFINITIONS. ‘‘In this subtitle: ‘‘(1) HEMP.—The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
Other regulations may be applicable to hemp and products made from hemp, but that is also true for many other products that are certified organic. Those regulations would be enforced by the appropriate authorities, not by organic certifiers.
Crop production of hemp began to be certified in the USA after the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. However, the USDA placed limits on that certification and issued an instruction stating that “For hemp produced in the United States, only industrial hemp, produced in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, as articulated in the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp issued on August 12, 2016 by USDA, may be certified as organic, if produced in accordance with USDA organic regulations.”
Based on that instruction, the USDA required certifiers to confirm that a state has such an industrial hemp agricultural pilot research program before certifying hemp in that state. To comply with that instruction, OneCert asks growers to submit a copy of your state license or registration and an Industrial Hemp Affirmation form.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has published a summary of state industrial hemp statutes However, that information may not be sufficient to determine your state’s status.
Additional resources that may be useful to operations growing organic hemp:
- MOSES Guidebook for Organic Certification
- USDA Discriminates Against Domestic Hemp Producers Seeking Organic Certification for CBD Products – New Cannabis Ventures
- NOP Who Needs to be Certified Training 2014
- Input Request Form
- Specialty Production – OSP Addendum
- OneCert FAQ – Organic certification for industrial hemp producers