2024 Farm Bill Amendment Would Ban Hemp-Derived THC Products

The recent amendment, proposed by Rep. Mary Miller, seeks to close the loophole which allows the sale of “intoxicating” hemp-based products such as delta-8-THC.
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The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture recently released a 942-page draft of the 2024 Farm Bill, also called the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, on May 17. Currently the bill is projected to cost $1.5 trillion over a 10-year period. During a Farm Bill hearing on May 23, the committee passed an group of amendments en bloc, one of which would essentially prohibit all hemp-derived products.

In its current form, the amendment would implement a ban on “all ingestible hemp products with any level of THC.” It would also redefine hemp to “only include naturally occurring, naturally derived, and non-intoxicating cannabinoids,” and remove cannabinoids “synthesized or manufactured outside of the plant” from the definition of legal hemp.

The amendment was proposed by Illinois Rep. Mary Miller. “My amendment will close the loophole created in the 2018 Farm Bill that allows intoxicating hemp products like delta-8 to be sold,” Miller said on May 23. “These products are being marketed to children and sending hundreds of them to the hospital. We must stop teenagers and young children from being exposed to addictive and harmful drugs.”

Some representatives expressed support for Miller’s amendment, but requested more information. Tennessee Rep. John Rose explained that more clarification is necessary to separate the “intentional and unintentional products” in the 2018 hemp definition. Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger added that she only seeks to make changes that would benefit farmers in her state. “Greater clarity is incredibly important, and particularly for fiber hemp producers, this amendment would make clear the valuable work that they do and make clear the viability of their product,” Spanberger added.

However, many more legislators opposed the amendment, such as Indiana Rep. Jim Baird. He argued that since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, many farmers have invested everything they had into farm businesses. “American farmers deserve the certainty afforded with the current definition of hemp. The proposed amendment arbitrarily changes the current congressionally written definition of hemp,” Baird said.

While Miller’s amendment is an attempt to protect children, Rep. Derrick Van Orden argued that many Americans have embraced their hemp businesses as their livelihood in order to care for their families. “American farmers deserve the certainty afforded with the current definition of hemp,” said Van Orden. “The proposed amendment arbitrarily changes the current congressionally written definition of hemp.”

Indiana Rep Zach Nunn also echoed this opinion, stating that he wants to work with his colleagues to protect kids from drugs, but the amendment “goes too far” by banning hemp grain and fiber industries.

Many hemp organizations such as the independent nonprofit U.S. Hemp Roundtable immediately released statements regarding the  news. “We had been assured on several occasions by committee staff and the Chairman personally that they would not support any effort to kill the hemp industry,” the organization wrote about the en bloc amendment passage. “But unfortunately, the decision was made by the Chairman to use a procedural tactic to avoid a separate vote on the issue.  And that resulted in passage of a deeply flawed and deeply objectionable policy.”

The Farm Bill and its amendments have been sent to the House floor for discussion, but the U.S. Hemp remains confident that it won’t pass. “Even if the House should pass the Farm Bill, the differences between House Republicans and Senate Democrats are considerable at this point,” the organization continued. “And even if the major issues dividing the parties are resolved, we continue to have many friends in both branches on both sides of the aisle who will work with us to defeat this hemp-killing language.”

Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association founder Rob Pero (also called Bad River) also published a statement expressing concern, especially for the unknown effects such an amendment would have on CBD products. “This would not only impact potentially impairing products like Delta-8 but would also extend to non-intoxicating CBD products with any quantifiable amount of THC” Pero stated. “Such a broad prohibition would effectively eliminate 90-95% of the hemp products market, jeopardizing the livelihoods of countless farmers, entrepreneurs, and Indigenous communities relying on the hemp industry for economic sustainability.”

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) expressed its recommendations on how to best regulate intoxicating hemp products, as according to its paper, “Navigating the Future of Cannabinoid Regulation.” This includes regulating intoxicating THC hemp products in the same manner as cannabis or alcohol, increasing the THC percentage allowance in hemp products to 1% (up from 0.3%), and creating “reasonable” THC content limits per serving. “Congress has the opportunity to protect public health and support small businesses by enacting sensible regulations for cannabinoid products,” said NCIA CEO Aaron Smith.

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3 comments
  1. If Rep. Miller is truly concerned for the children; she would know they are more susceptible to OTCs and prescription exposure. She has remained silent, since last election. She is stalling and will only hurt farmers. Including those in her district.

  2. its very simple, THCa and CBD and THC are the ONLY naturally occuring ones, they are the ONLY ones that arent harmful, so just ban everything else. S i m p l e. its the bullshit like THC-V (SYNTHETIC) THC-O, DELTA 8, HHC etc that are harming children, but lets all ignore the real problem

    1. It’s not really that simple, there are so many different cannabinoids and those are some of them tho. I definitely agree that all synthetically produced ones should never have been ok and should be illegal. Things like D8, D10, HHC, THC-O, shouldn’t be around. THC-V however isn’t synthetic, and isnt psychoactive. It is a natural cannabinoid that reacts with the same receptors that THC does, except instead of activating them, it deactivates them. Now you know

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