Rand Paul introduces bill to boost hemp THC limits

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The bill would raise THC limits from 0.3 per cent to one per cent.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill on Tuesday that could raise the THC limits on industrial hemp in the U.S. from 0.3 per cent to one per cent.

In a statement, Paul said conversations with Kentucky hemp farmers and processors informed the Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (HEMP) Act of 2020.

Currently, any hemp crops that test above 0.3 per cent must be destroyed.

Historically, Kentucky has been the U.S.’s leading hemp producer, though production was mostly banned for nearly 45 years following federal policies introduced in 1970.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the farm bill, removed hemp and cannabis derivatives with extremely low concentrations of THC (no more than 0.3 per cent) from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), clearing the way for large-scale production.

However, farmers have argued that the 0.3 limit on THC is too low and inhibits the growth of the sector.

The bill would also change testing requirements and allow the final iteration of products to be tested for THC limits, rather than the crop. Additionally, if passed, the bill would also introduce a “seed certificate” for the safe transportation of the crop. Authorities across the U.S have repeatedly seized hemp shipments after mistaking the crop for cannabis.

The bill is meant to help the growing industry “reach its full economic potential,” Paul said in a statement.

“For years, I’ve led the fight in Washington to restore one of Kentucky’s most historically vital crops by legalizing industrial hemp,” the senator said. “We achieved a hard-won victory, but there is still work to do to prevent the federal government from weighing down our farmers with unnecessary bureaucratic micromanaging.”

According to Natural Products Insider, the bill has received support from the American Farm Bureau Federation, Kentucky Hemp Association and Vote Hemp.

“The U.S. hemp industry has had its share of roadblocks, but we continue to push forward and make changes that will help hemp producers thrive,” Katie Moyer, owner of Kentucky Hemp Works, said in the release. “Senator Paul’s HEMP Act has the potential to improve upon the highest priority issues for hemp growers, processors and labs, while making sure to keep our consumers safe as well,” Moyer added.

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