Legal Blog

Agricultural Marketing Service Update: Farm Bill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently published some website updates worthy of comment that relate to the 2018 Farm Bill, which expanded the ability for U.S. farmers to produce industrial hemp having no more than 0.3% THC content. The industry has been awaiting regulations which are expected to be published in the fall of 2019. A listening session was held in March where industry participants were afforded the opportunity to ask questions and comment on how the Department will draft the regulations. Here are a few requirements that AMS recently published more visibly, available at The Farm Bill requires each plan to include the following:

  1. a practice to maintain relevant information regarding land on which hemp is produced in the State or territory of the Indian tribe, including a legal description of the land, for a period of not less than 3 calendar years;
  2. a procedure for testing, using post decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration levels of hemp produced in the State or territory of the Indian tribe;
  3. a procedure for the effective disposal of: plants, whether growing or not, that are produced in violation of this subtitle; and products derived from those plants;
  4. a procedure to comply with the enforcement procedures under subsection (e) of the Farm Bill;
  5. a procedure for conducting annual inspections of, at a minimum, a random sample of hemp producers to verify that hemp is not produced in violation of this subtitle;
  6. a procedure for submitting the information described in section 297C(d)(2) of the Farm Bill to the Secretary not more than 30 days after the date on which the information is received; and
  7. a certification that the state or Indian tribe has the resources and personnel to carry out the practices and procedures described in clauses (i) through (vi) of the Farm Bill.

We are still awaiting publication of the implementing regulations of the Plant Variety Protection Act, covering the addition of asexually reproduced varieties to the list of protectable varieties, as well as seed-propagated hemp (as a result of its removal from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule 1).


If you have any questions on the Farm Bill, please contact Scott Lloyd at or 301.575.0357.


ABOUT SCOTT LLOYD | 301.575.0357

Scott Lloyd is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property counseling and commercialization work. He has served as a technology commercialization specialist and advisor to companies in a diverse array of markets, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, technology, and engineering. In addition, Mr. Lloyd spent ten years as in-house general counsel to small and mid-sized companies, where he managed corporate matters and resolved commercial disputes in addition to intellectual property strategy, and now serves in the same capacity for entrepreneurial clients. He serves as counsel to small and mid-sized business owners seeking to implement growth strategies and succession plans.

While in house, Mr. Lloyd has also contributed to the successful formation of international affiliates of domestic businesses as well as a $400,000,000 business acquisition.


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