Did the Farm Bill Legalize Hemp?

Demand for CBD-based products has skyrocketed in recent years, despite the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not yet allowing CBD in foods, beverages, or dietary supplements. This has created a gray market, as consumers living in states without adult-use cannabis legislation turn to alternative products.

Last week, the House Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research held a panel in Congress to explore opportunities to improve current regulations on hemp production. The farm bill is a package of laws passed every five years that covers a wide range of agricultural issues, sets the foundation for food and agriculture systems, and significantly impacts farmers' livelihoods. Hemp industry stakeholders are looking to ease the burden on the industry by solving crucial problems to improve the sector. One of the main issues facing the hemp industry is the FDA's position on CBD, a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis. The uncertainty of the FDA's stance on CBD has caused large retailers to be unable to sell these products, and many companies are hesitant to move forward with the development and manufacture of CBD-related products.

This has resulted in many farmers ending the year with a hemp crop for which there was no buyer, and the FDA's reluctance has decreased industry demand for harvested hemp material. This trend was confirmed by Kate Greenberg, commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, another witness on the congressional panel. Eric Wang, who testified as CEO of Ecofibre and on behalf of the U. Hemp Roundtable, explained to the subcommittee that consumers are also affected by FDA doubts about CBD, as some companies sell products without adequate guarantees and mislead customers with false claims. According to the panelists, increasing the allowable THC threshold in hemp plants and their products is another crucial issue that must be considered to improve the industry.

Currently set at 0.3%, players in the hemp industry intend to raise it to 1%. This measure would improve the quality of hemp-based products and would have a positive effect on the industry. Dr. David Phipps, adjunct professor in the Department of Agricultural Life Sciences & at Cedarville Central State University, Ohio, explained that allowing hemp breeders to work with varieties with higher levels of THC would enable the development of elite hemp varieties adapted to specific regions. Quarles also called for raising the THC threshold from 0.3% to 1.0%.

However, he also suggested considering that the new threshold should include THC delta-9 (commonly known as THC) and all other intoxicating isomers, such as delta-8, delta10, delta-7 and HHC, to better reflect the material's true intoxicating potential. Greenberg proposed eliminating the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) requirement to perform laboratory tests for hemp because its implementation is too complicated and time-consuming. He also suggested creating a USDA seal of approval for hemp sent between different U. jurisdictions. Even CBD products produced by state cannabis programs for legal medical or adult use are illegal products under federal law both in states and across state lines. It is true that section 12619 of the Agricultural Act removes hemp-derived products from its Schedule I category under the Controlled Substances Act, but this legislation does not legalize CBD in general.

A common misconception about the Farm Bill is that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis, is legalized.

Mae Bedee
Mae Bedee

Extreme sushi junkie. Subtly charming social mediaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee specialist. Proud web ninja. Avid internet lover. Infuriatingly humble beer advocate.

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