26 August 2016

Thankyou to law firm Hoban & Feola for alerting us to this development and document


1. Purpose and scope 

This instruction clarifies U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy regarding the organic certification of industrial hemp production by certifying agents accredited by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). This instruction applies to all NOP-accredited certifying agents, and replaces the February 2016 version of NOP 2040.

2. Background 

Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) authorized institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture to establish industrial hemp research pilot programs in states where the production of industrial hemp is legal and subject to certain other conditions. On August 12, 2016, the USDA, in consultation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, published a Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp regarding the applicability of Federal laws to activities associated with growing and cultivating industrial hemp.

3. Policy 

For hemp produced in the United States, only industrial hemp, produced in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, as articulated in the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp issued on August 12, 2016 by USDA, may be certified as organic, if produced in accordance with USDA organic regulations. USDA accredited certifiers should direct questions regarding the guidance to their Accreditation Manager. For imported hemp, existing regulations and guidelines continue to govern whether products may be certified as organic.