Botanacor Offers A New “Dry Weight Potency (USDA)” Test

Botanacor Offers a New “Dry Weight Potency (USDA)” Test to Allow Hemp Producers to Achieve USDA Regulatory Compliance

USDA Will Soon Require Hemp Producers to Test Crops for Total THC Calculated on a Dry Weight Basis  

COLORADO: Botanacor Laboratories, the widely recognized leader in accredited testing of hemp biomass and hemp-derived CBD products, today announced that it offers a new test to hemp producers. Responding to new USDA regulations that will soon apply to U.S. states, territories, and tribes, Botanacor can now test hemp biomass for total THC calculated on a dry weight basis.

Offering the industry’s fastest turnaround times for its “moisture corrected” test results, Botanacor provides customers a Certificate of Analysis that includes Measurement Uncertainly for 15 cannabinoids.  Botanacor calculates the total THC using HPLC and accurately accounts for moisture content using the Karl Fischer Method for advanced titration.

Botanacor’s new test for total THC calculated on a dry weight basis recognizes that THC content is expressed as a percent of biomass weight.  However, moisture can add weight and distort the THC content calculation, with implications for product safety, consistency, potency, and regulatory compliance.  Only total THC calculated on a dry weight basis provides an accurate THC content across any type of hemp sample submitted for testing, no matter the initial moisture content of the samples submitted to Botanacor. (For background, link to the USDA Interim Final Rule.)

“Botanacor is known nationally for rapidly developing the validated tests required for our hemp-producing customers’ regulatory compliance,” said Mike Branvold, President of Botanacor.  “This new Dry Weight Potency (USDA) test is another example of Botanacor standing up a test in anticipation of USDA regulation to give our customers a competitive edge.”

Colorado Ag Department Provides State Hemp Plan Status Update

COLORADO:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has requested Colorado clarify and revise certain elements of its State Hemp Management Plan, submitted on June 18, 2020. The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is currently reviewing USDA’s comments and questions and considering revisions as it continues to prioritize representing the needs of the state’s industrial hemp registrants and stakeholders.

“As we have done from day one, CDA is working through the state plan submission and approval process in a careful and comprehensive manner to best serve the needs of Colorado,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “Given the many changes at the federal level, we are working hard to create a stable and sound regulatory environment so that Colorado’s hemp industry can continue to lead the nation.”
Feedback received from numerous stakeholders statewide and over several months contributed to the plan, including input from farmers, processors and product manufacturers, state and local government agencies, healthcare professionals, financial services providers, law enforcement, and academic institutions, as well as consultation with Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes, as part of CDA’s Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan.

NHA Board Chairman Meets With USDA

COLORADO: On June 28th, National Hemp Association Board Chairman Geoff Whaling met with senior U.S. Department of Agriculture staff, with the encouragement of Agricultural Secretary Perdue.  Geoff initiated the meeting along with Erica McBride of the Pennsylvania Industrial Hemp Council.  This was the first meeting that Secretary Perdue and his team have afforded the Industrial Hemp Industry.

Meeting attendees, along with Geoff and Erica, were Jonathan Miller representing the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, as well as representatives from Senator Merkley and Representative Comer’s offices.  Representing Secretary Perdue was Chief of Staff, Heidi Green; Acting General Counsel, Steve Vaden; and Michele Esch, Acting Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary for Research along with senior USDA Policy staff. The meeting reaffirmed critical elements of the working relationship that the hemp industry has established with the USDA since the enactment of Sec. 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Under the new administration, the USDA will continue to treat all parts of the hemp plant as being covered under the current Farm Bill and will not attempt to delineate parts of the hemp plant as practiced by the DEA.  The USDA will continue to support the hemp pilot projects permitted under Sec. 7606, and continue to welcome grant and loan applications, as well as all other applicable funding opportunities offered by USDA and NIFA.

“All hemp industry participants are encouraged to participate in these funding opportunities,” stated Whaling. “USDA confirmed that nine Industrial Hemp funding requests to NIFA are being processed and that USDA has encouraged those who submitted previous requests to resubmit them.”

While the USDA does intend to fully support hemp under the existing regulatory environment, it too welcomes the opportunity to engage with the DEA in differences over legal and regulatory interpretation –   a stance that should prove helpful in moving forward with the introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2018.

“USDA also offered to provide a quick response to any Secretary or Commissioner of Agriculture who is looking for clarification on either the Farm Bill or SOP, which may be preventing the States that have enacted enabling Industrial Hemp legislation from advancing research,” said Whaling. “This is a welcoming change over the previous administration.”

INDUSTRIAL HEMP FARMING ACT of 2018

Corresponding with the USDA meeting, Whaling had the occasion to update Representative James Comer and Senator Bob Casey, a Member of the US Senate Agricultural Committee.

In addition, hemp leaders from throughout the US were invited to a legislative update regarding the status of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2018 and its introduction to Congress during the current session.  Jonathan Miller hosted the conference call with Kentucky Congressman James Comer who is the lead sponsor of the bill and who has been a tireless advocate of hemp as a de-scheduled agricultural crop.

Congressman Comer hopes to have the bill introduced in July, while continuing to gain key support throughout Congress and the committees that are most influential to getting the legislation passed.  While legislative compromise is expected, the bill’s primary purpose is to remove hemp from the Schedule I substance list; set workable levels for THC content; allow states to self-regulate the cultivation of hemp. With these limited legislative approvals, hemp will be able to move forward in dramatic ways, encouraging both investment and economic growth within the hemp industry.

The National Hemp Association looks forward to the introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2018 and will provide Congressman Comer and his co-sponsors our full and committed support in passage of the legislation.

“There is new leadership in the USDA, on the Hill and within our industry,” said Whaling. “I am confident that this group will advance our industry to a level never before achieved.”

Industrial Hemp Gaining Traction In Agriculture Industry

COLORADO: Two years ago, Rick Trojan and his team at Colorado Cultivars found a wild hemp plant growing on the side of the road. It looked kind of like a Christmas tree, he said. They brought it into their greenhouse and began doing research, cultivating different strains of hemp so they could plant each section of their field in Eaton with one specific type.

That one plant turned the company into one of the largest hemp operations in the country, the Greeley Tribune reported.

This past year, the company grew about 300 acres of hemp in its first growing season. This year, Trojan said they’ll plant between 1,500 and 2,500 acres — more than all of Colorado planted in 2015.

In a few months, as 10-foot-tall corn plants dry in nearby fields, hemp will stretch as far as the stalks, ready to become clothing, supplements, paper and more.

Uncertainty Dominates New Legal Hemp Market

COLORADO: Marijuana’s square cousin, industrial hemp, has come out of the black market and is now legal for farmers to cultivate, opening up a lucrative new market. That was the idea, anyway.

Would-be hemp farmers are having mixed success navigating red tape on everything from seed acquisition to processing the finished plant. It will take years, farmers and regulators agree, before there’s a viable market for hemp.

Hemp is prized for oils, seeds and fiber, but its production was prohibited for five decades because the plant can be manipulated to enhance a psychoactive chemical, THC, making the drug marijuana.

Colorado Farmers Wonder: How To Get Hemp Seeds?

COLORADO:   Farmers in Colorado and at least 10 other states are preparing to plant, cultivate and harvest hemp legally for the first time since the crop was outlawed more than 50 years ago.

As they learn about the crop’s preferences and the best methods to harvest the seeds for oil or the long stalks for fiber, they are sidestepping the first part of the process that remains unclear: getting the seed.

“It’s kind of a catch there right now,” said Ron Carleton, the state’s deputy commissioner of agriculture.

Federal law still prohibits the importation and sale of non-sterile hemp seed, which is needed for industrial farming.

Hemp Farming Could Turn Into Economic Boon For Colorado

COLORADO:  A growing farming fad in Colorado is to grow hemp – now that it’s legal, and at least one long-time farming family is hoping to cash in on the crop.

Rock ‘n’ Robin’s in Fort Collins sells products that are made of hemp such as t-shirts, handbags and other products. Farmers are hoping it creates a new industry for Colorado.

Kirk Eppelsheimer grew up around farming, but he never gave the profession much thought until Colorado made history by legalizing hemp production.

“We want to get started  now, try to be a leader in this new industry,” Eppelsheimer said.