cannabis background

Earlier this month, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) updated its rules and regulations to include new mailing standards for “Hemp-based Products,” which includes products derived from cannabis and industrial hemp.

According to the full postal bulletin, which can be viewed here (starting on page 4), the USPS recognizes that products derived from hemp, as it is defined under Section 10113 of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, can be lawfully mailed under the following circumstances:

  1. The mailer complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws (such as the Agricultural Act of 2014 and the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) pertaining to hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales; and
  2. The mailer retains records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 2 years after the date of mailing.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the 2014 Farm Bill) required mailers to obtain a license from their state’s Department of Agriculture, authorizing the licensee to produce industrial hemp. It also required that the hemp have no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration. These rules are still in place.

It is important to note that under revised Postal Service™ regulations and additions resulting from the Agricultural Act of 2018 (known as the 2018 Farm Bill), mailers are now responsible for maintaining their own compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations concerning hemp mailability. Mailers will be required to retain documentation demonstrating compliance, but will not have to present said documentation at the time of mailing. However, if doubt arises at any time, persons and companies shipping hemp and hemp-based products may be required to present their documentation records.

The revisions are set to be incorporated in the next online update of Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, which will be made available through pe.usps.com.

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