MDARD Reminds Industrial Hemp Growers to Test Before Harvest
Lansing– As the state’s first industrial hemp harvest begins, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reminding growers that they must have their crop tested for THC content before they can harvest.
“Under the Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program, growers are required to have pre-harvest testing to ensure their crops do not exceed 0.3 percent THC,” said Gina Alessandri, MDARD’s Industrial Hemp Program Director. “Currently, MDARD’s Geagley Lab is the only approved lab for this regulatory compliance testing in Michigan.”
First, growers need to schedule their test with MDARD’s Geagley Lab by calling the department’s toll-free customer call center at 1-800-292-3939, Monday – Friday between 8 am – 5 pm.
“Growers will be scheduled for a specific day to submit their samples for testing. Samples must be received by the date the growers are scheduled if they want to get their results back the next week,” said Craig VanBuren, MDARD’s Lab Division Director. “It’s also critical that growers follow the sample collection process to ensure they get a good sample for us to test.”
Sampling needs to be done according to the department’s Procedure #MDARD-HEMP-201908-1, which can be found under the “Forms” tab at https://www.michigan.gov/industrialhemp.
Undried samples should be sent to the Geagley Laboratory, where they will be oven dried, ground, tested for moisture content, and analyzed to determine both the THC and CBD content, on a percent weight basis. The THC reported by the lab must be less than or equal to 0.3% for the crop to be compliant. Growers can submit up to three different samples from their crop. If after three samples the THC levels are more than what’s allowed, the crops will be considered un-useable.
Results of testing will be communicated to the grower electronically by Thursday of the following week. Crops must be harvested within 15 days of the date the results are emailed to the grower. It is the grower’s responsibility to regularly monitor his or her email inbox for the lab results and other regulatory reminders being sent by MDARD.
If the THC levels results exceed the concentration level allowable by law, growers may destroy the crop or repeat the testing two additional times. Crops determined to be non-compliant after the third test will be ordered destroyed, added VanBuren.
For more information, visit the Industrial Hemp website.