The USDA retracted its previous policy today and has permitted the organic certification of industrial hemp by certified agents accredited by the NOP, if produced in accordance with USDA organic regulations. For imported hemp, existing regulations and guidelines continue to govern whether products may be certified as organic.
What does this mean?
Industrial hemp cultivated under Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) that authorizes 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 can now be certified organic. This is a positive step for the industry and it is further evidence that industrial hemp will hopefully be legalized in the near future.