EPA Seeking Public Comment On Pesticide Applications For Hemp

The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing the hemp industry to return to the United States after decades of absence.

As with any other conventionally-produced crop in the United States, the consideration of pesticides and herbicides for use on hemp was an inevitability.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week it has received ten pesticide applications to expand their use on hemp crops.

In the interests of maintaining transparency and improving EPA’s process for hemp pest management tools for the hemp industry, the agency has opened a public comment period on the applications.

“EPA is taking the next step toward registering crop protection tools for hemp in time for use during the 2020 application and growing seasons,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a press release. “We hope this transparent and public process will bring hemp farmers and researchers increased regulatory clarity in time for next growing season—something they have asked for since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of commercial hemp.”

California-based Agro Logistic Systems, Marrone Bio Innovations, and Hawthorne Hydroponics are listed in the prepublication notice as seeking approval for azadirachtin, neem oil, and other substances used for crop protection.

The public comment period will be open for 30 days following the publication of the notice in the Federal Register.

After the conclusion of the public comment period, EPA expects to decide on the possible use of the specified products on hemp before the end of 2019, giving growers the chance to make informed decisions on pesticides before the next growing season.