U.S. Agriculture Department Urge THC Limit Increase for Hemp

Hemp farm in USA

Advocating for a Higher THC Limit in Hemp

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is spearheading a campaign to urge Congress to increase the THC limit for legal hemp. This initiative, part of their 2024 policy priorities, aims to more than triple the current THC threshold from 0.3 percent to 1 percent by dry weight.

Rationale Behind the Proposed Increase

NASDA argues that raising the THC concentration to one percent would enable farmers to plant a wider variety of seed types, providing greater assurance of crop viability while still maintaining limits on THC concentration.

Key Policy Areas for 2024 Farm Bill

This proposal is one of five key policy areas NASDA is focusing on in the 2024 Farm Bill. Ted McKinney, NASDA CEO, emphasizes the urgent need for action in these areas to support farmers and ranchers in producing the nation's food, fiber, and fuel.

Criticism of the Current THC Limit

The 0.3 percent THC limit, imposed under the 2018 Farm Bill, has faced criticism from various stakeholders. A Justice Department researcher recently questioned the rationale for this restriction, suggesting it was arbitrarily based on a decades-old article.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) notes that while there are differing policy priorities among industry stakeholders, there is a consensus on amending the law to raise the THC limit to one percent for compliant hemp.

Legislative Uncertainty and Hemp Bills

It remains unclear if congressional lawmakers will address the Farm Bill this year. However, several hemp bills have been filed, including one seeking to end policies barring individuals with prior felony drug convictions from leading legal hemp businesses.

Regulatory Pathway for Hemp Products

Top of mind for hemp stakeholders is finding a regulatory pathway for marketing hemp products like CBD oil as dietary supplements and in the food supply. The FDA currently lacks a pathway for this, prompting legislative efforts to remove regulatory barriers.

The USDA has been revoking certain hemp licenses for businesses that also hold state licenses for marijuana. This action, along with other regulatory hurdles, is blamed for the hemp crop's value decline since its legalization.

Hemp Market's Economic Impact

Despite economic challenges, the hemp market in 2022 was larger than all state marijuana markets combined, roughly equalling sales for craft beer nationally. The USDA is conducting surveys to better understand the state of the industry.

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Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

About the author:

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of CBD and hemp production. With a career spanning over a decade in the cannabis industry, he has dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of these plants and their potential benefits to human health and the environment. Over the years, Robin has worked tirelessly to promote the full legalization of hemp in Europe. His fascination with the plant's versatility and potential for sustainable production led him to pursue a career in the field.

More about Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

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