2024 Farm Bill

2024 Farm Bill Amendment Could Ban 90% of Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids

2024 Farm Bill Amendment Could Ban 90% of Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids

A new Congress amendment to the Farm Bill could take away the legality of about 90% to 95% of Cannabis products. For a long time, Hemp has been protected by the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018, but a bill is passing through the US House of Reps that could change the Cannabis industry in so many ways.

Congresswoman Mary Miller, a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Education & Labor, proposed the Farm Bill amendments. As most observers expected, the Committee accepted the amendments added by Rep. Miller and it is moving on to the next stage.

Why Is the Farm Bill So Important?

The Farm Bill is a package of laws that affect all aspects of agriculture. It expires every five years and is renewed with new amendments. The last one was passed into law in 2018, and the bill for its amendment and renewal is presently passing through Congress.

The 2018 Farm Bill had what many people referred to as a loophole that positively favored the cannabis industry. The Bill excluded hemp from the definition of marijuana as an illegal substance under the Controlled Substances Law. 

By doing this, it also legalized a number of synthesized derivatives of Cannabis that the lawmakers did not intend to legalize. For the prohibitionists, this “loophole” caused more harm than good because the newly legal substances were being abused across the country.

In 2023, President Biden extended the Farm Bill that took force in 2018, and this is why the amendments are just being discussed in 2024. Prohibitionist interest groups and some players in the Cannabis industry are trying to use this opportunity to shut down the loophole created in the 2018 Farm Bill and ban as many CBD products as possible.

What Effect Will the New Amendment Have on the Hemp Industry as a Law?

The amendment Congresswoman Mary Miller is proposing looks to redefine the meaning of hemp to exclude a number of substances that were made legal by the 2018 Bill. If the bill is passed into law, cannabis seeds exceeding a total THC concentration of 0.3% will be illegal. By extension, it will also only include naturally derived cannabinoids that meet this criteria within the definition of legal hemp.

The amendments to the Farm Bill will also stop seed companies and breeders from moving seeds across state lines. While the law will allow buying and selling non-intoxicating cannabinoids in local networks, it will still have a big effect on the multi-million dollar industry. Since most farmers were already growing strains that were legal under the 2018 bill, many farms, retail outlets, and CBD-based businesses will lose money because of the ban.

Essentially, the new definition of legal hemp in the amendment makes about 90% to 95% of the hemp products in the US illegal. According to different Cannabis groups, the ban will also affect non-intoxicating CBD products.

The Bill has just been passed by the House Committee on Agriculture, but it still has a long way to go before it becomes a federal law. Different influential players in the industry are opposing the amendment, and they claim that it is being sponsored by Hemp companies that want to maintain a monopoly of Hemp sales.

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