Hemp Certification

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 asks growers to submit a copy of your state, tribal, or federal license or registration with your application.

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 instructions to certifiers. That instruction was updated on November 26, 2019 to incorparate the changes resulting from the 2018 Farm Bill: “For hemp produced in the United States, only hemp produced in accordance with the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and/or the 2014 Farm Bill may be certified as organic, if produced in accordance with USDA organic regulations.”

To comply with that instruction, OneCert asks growers to submit a copy of your state, tribal, or federal license or registration with their application for certification.

Additional resources that may be useful to operations growing organic hemp: