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USA: USDA approves the cultivation of genetically modified industrial hemp with 0% THC

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Photo: Laura Ramos | cannareporter

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)approved the cultivation of a new variety of industrial hemp plant, specially designed and developed by Growing Together Research Inc. The plant has practically zero levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBC (cannabichromene), and represents a game-changer for the hemp industry.

Growing Together Research Inc., a company dedicated to agricultural innovation, has managed to create a hemp plant for industrial purposes with a 0% THC content. This development represents a major step forward for American farmers because it eliminates the risk associated with growing “hot crops” that previously posed economic and regulatory challenges.

Mitigating Risks: The Meaning of 0% THC Hemp

The term “hot crops” refers to hemp plants that contain high levels of THC, which can lead to legal complications and financial losses for farmers. A 0% THC hemp plant offers a solution to this problem. By reducing the THC content to zero, farmers can now grow hemp without fear of inadvertently growing varieties that violate legal regulations.

USDA's thorough evaluation and approval process

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) meticulously evaluated the genetically engineered industrial hemp plant to determine its safety and viability. The agency's main concern was whether this modified variant posed an increased risk as a plant pest compared to other hemp varieties.

In response, Growing Together provided detailed information to the USDA, emphasizing the complete absence of THC in the plant. This vital characteristic convinced regulators of the plant's safety and its potential to transform the hemp industry. Growing Together stated in a letter to Bernadette Juarez, deputy administrator of APHIS, that this modified variant of hemp does not pose a high risk of plant pests, making it exempt from regulation under the Plant Protection Act.

With USDA approval and by eliminating the uncertainty associated with THC levels in industrial hemp, this plant could open the door to a safer and more profitable future for hemp cultivation in the United States. Growing Together's achievement not only responds to some of the challenges facing farmers, it also heralds a new era of innovation and sustainability in the American agricultural landscape.

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