WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a list of pesticides that are allowable for use on hemp crops.
Per provisions passed in the 2018 Farm Act, industrial hemp now has federal legal status as an agricultural crop. The EPA, which is responsible for regulation of pesticides, will add “hemp” to the product labeling of the newly listed pesticides, which already are approved for a variety of crops.
Ten pesticides have been registered for use on hemp; the EPA stated on its website, “Nine of the products are biopesticides and one is a conventional pesticide.” The agency said it continues to review applications for other pesticide products and will add them, as they are approved.
“The new approvals are particularly significant because each of the pesticides contain active ingredients for which EPA ‘has previously determined the residues will be safe under any reasonably foreseeable circumstances,’” said attorney Joseph J. Green, on the KellyGreenLawBlog.com.
“That is, each of the pesticides is subject to an established tolerance exemption for residues on all raw agricultural or food commodities,” Green wrote further. “Accordingly, the pesticides may be used on hemp crops that support the production of CBD products intended to be consumed, topically applied or otherwise ingested. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is developing its own plans to regulate CBD as a component of food products and supplements.”
Hemp, which is a variety of cannabis, has been used for thousands of years for various industrial purposes including rope making, textile manufacture, and as a source for hemp oil. Hemp seeds are touted as a “super food” in health food recipes.
Because hemp must be at levels of less than 0.3 percent of psychoactive cannabinoid compound THC, it cannot produce a “high” effect, like its cousin cannabis. Hemp is the primary source for cannabidiol extract, the active cannabinoid also known as CBD.
The U.S. is the largest importer of hemp products, which come from China, France, and the Netherlands, where it has long been legal to grow hemp crops. Since passage of the 2018 Farm Act, U.S. farmers now can grow hemp crops for the first time since the 1930s.
For a list of pesticides allowable for hemp crops and other EPA information, click here.