EPA Approves Use of 10 Pesticide Products on Hemp

By and on December 20, 2019

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its approval of 10 new pesticides for use on hemp products. EPA’s approval of nine biopesticides and one conventional pesticide provides greater certainty to hemp farmers in time for the 2020 planting season.

The hemp industry awaits further guidance from other federal regulatory agencies.

In December 2018, Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), which explicitly removed hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. The 2018 Farm Bill directed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a regulatory framework for hemp production in the United States. USDA recently released its interim final rule including proposed rules and regulations regarding USDA’s approval of hemp production plans submitted by States and Indian Tribes, and the establishment of a Federal Plan for hemp growers in States without a USDA-approved plan. Comments on the proposed rule were initially due by December 30, 2019, but the USDA recently extended the deadline to January 29, 2020, to allow stakeholders additional time submit feedback.

Further, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) possesses regulatory authority over products containing cannabis or cannabis derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA has recognized hemp and several hemp-derived compounds as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) under its food ingredient standards; however, this does not cover CBD—even CBD derived from hemp produced under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Alva C. Mather
Alva Mather is the global head of McDermott’s Regulatory Practice Group and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee, and heads the Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Practice. As a nationally recognized go-to lawyer for alcohol beverage regulatory, commercial and M&A matters, clients say that Alva “comes to the situation with clear leadership and strong knowledge of the food and beverage industry.” She combines her extensive knowledge of the commercial and legal landscape as well as deep understanding of the beverage industry to help clients mitigate risk, respond to challenges, and capture and pursue new business opportunities. Read Alva Mather's full bio.

Noah Feldman Greene
Noah Feldman Greene focuses his practice on antitrust matters. During law school, Noah served as a judicial intern for the Hon. Beverly Reid O’Connell of the US District Court for the Central District of California. He was senior editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law and participated in the William Minor Lile Moot Court. Read Noah Feldman Greene's full bio.