USDA Extends Enforcement Deadline for Hemp to be Tested by DEA-Registered Laboratories

December 19, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is delaying enforcement of the requirement for hemp produced under the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program to be tested by laboratories registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Due to inadequate DEA-registered laboratory testing capacity, testing can be conducted by labs that are not DEA registered until Dec. 31, 2024. Testing can be conducted at these labs only if the labs have already applied for DEA registration.

On Dec. 6, 2022, USDA announced it was delaying enforcement of the requirement and allowed hemp growers to use labs not registered with DEA through December 31, 2023. The original regulatory deadline for hemp producers to meet the requirement was Jan. 1, 2023.

USDA is delaying enforcement of this requirement based on input received from state and tribal governments and third-party cannabis testing facilities that have experienced delays in completing the DEA laboratory registration process. Because of these delays, USDA is concerned there will be inadequate hemp laboratory testing capacity for the 2024 growing season. Laboratories testing hemp must comply with all other regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, potential market entrants and related industries are relying on USDA to provide guidance in their preparations for the 2024 growing season, and the Administrator finds there is good cause to exercise enforcement discretion without prior opportunity for notice and comment and to make it immediately effective.  For the same reasons, the Administrator finds that even if this exercise of enforcement discretion were subject to the public participation provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, there is good cause to proceed without notice and comment.

More information regarding testing requirements  is available on the AMS Hemp Analytical Testing Laboratories webpage.

For questions concerning this notice, contact the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, at or 1-888-721-HEMP.

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