In light of the USDA’s final interim ruling, the Shenandoah Valley Hemp team felt it was important to speak our feelings on the topic. In this industry, the laws are constantly being updated to keep cannabis products safe and make sure proper regulations are being met. Strict guidelines on seed genetics, tracking plants, testing, labeling, and marketing will yield healthier final products for consumers.
We are excited for the release of our product line, and are spending countless hours working to ensure that each of our products is compliant with current laws. Our products will be tested in all categories including pesticides, mold, heavy metals, residual solvents, cannabinoid levels and the full profile of the sample. We believe that this should be the standard. By tracking batch numbers that accurately represent each product, we will have the capability to go above Virginia’s set requirements. We take pride in knowing that our customers will be able to legally travel throughout the states while using and carrying our products. However, we recognize that current testing methods for law enforcement to distinguish between THC and CBD products are slow and inconsistent. We are in contact with several police departments to assist in improving these tests and hope to eliminate the “gray area”.
Some of the biggest challenges we faced on the farming side this season were acquiring quality genetics, the need for expensive equipment, a highly labor intensive process, crop protection and ease of testing processes. The current laws state that the total amount of THC in a hemp plant cannot exceed 0.3%. We believe that testing for total THC is arbitrary and that it would be more accurate to test for the delta-9 THC (change of THCA converted to THC) as THC in its acidic form (THCA) does not accurately represent the psychoactive content that they are trying to monitor.
If testing for total THC doesn’t change, we would like to see that number increase to 0.6%-1%. Those levels are still very low and this change would be insignificant, but would allow more flexibility for farmers and lower overall costs. Loosening this regulation will also give farmers access to more genetic varieties, rather than switching up their growing techniques.
On the processing side, SVH focuses on our mixtures and formulas to ensure quality in every product. We use certified manufacturing equipment, clean, natural ingredients and small batches to allow for more accurate testing. We hope to see the new regulations give clearer guidelines to make the extraction process more uniform, resulting in safer products.
The hemp and CBD industry would not be where it is today if it weren’t for all the positive influencers working non-stop to improve these laws and regulations. In order to keep seeing advancements, it is important for all parties involved to reach out to the USDA with comments and feedback. This in-depth interim ruling is a huge step in the right direction.
We feel so grateful to be a part of the cannabis world and are excited to watch this industry continue to evolve for the better.