Is Marijuana really safer than alcohol? Science weighs in

House Committee Approves Farm Bill Amendment To Ban Delta-8 THC

2024 Farm Bill Amendment Aims to Eliminate Gray Market for Intoxicating Hemp-Derived Products.

An amendment to the new Farm Bill may put an end to the gray market for intoxicating hemp-derived products, such as delta-8 THC, by closing the loophole opened by the 2018 Farm Bill.

The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture voted on Thursday to approve an amendment proposed by Republican Rep. Mary Miller for Illinois that would ban intoxicating hemp-derived and synthesized cannabinoid products, which has been added to the 2024 Farm Bill draft.

As a result, the amendment would federally ban all hemp-derived products like delta-8 THC, semi-synthetic cannabinoids like HHC, as well as synthesized products like THC-O, disrupting a $28 billion gray industry.

The amendment also reformulates the definition of "hemp" introduced in the 2018 Farm Bill, which led to the rise of the intoxicating hemp-derived and synthesized cannabinoid gray market.

Specifically, it distinguishes between two categories of hemp: 'hemp grown for cannabinoid extraction,' used for producing non-intoxicating substances, and 'industrial hemp,' used for non-cannabinoid purposes like food, fiber, and research. This new definition contrasts with the 2018 Farm Bill's all-inclusive definition of hemp.

Should this amendment become part of the 2024 Farm Bill, it will significantly change the landscape of the hemp industry in the country.

Hemp was federally legalized in 2018 with the Farm Bill that allowed the cultivation of cannabis with a THC level equal to or below 0.3% in order to ensure that its products destined for human consumption wouldn't possess the intoxicating properties of adult-use cannabis, which is still federally illegal.

However, the extraction of cannabinoids from hemp not only created a multi-billion dollar market for CBD—a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with reported health benefits—but also led to the manufacturing and sale of intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids like delta-8 THC, which has reported milder effects compared to the THC found in adult-use cannabis.

Widely available in shops, gas stations, and online across the states, regardless of cannabis's legal status at the state level, these products became popular and created a profitable market. A 2022 study has shown they are used more by people living in states without adult-use cannabis legalization.

Meanwhile, several states have begun to ban or regulate these products, addressing the legislative void and ambiguity created by the legalization of hemp and the extraction of its cannabinoids, as their legality at the federal level remains a matter of debate.

It might seem that the adult-use cannabis industry would support the hemp-derived and synthesized cannabinoid gray market, but that is not the case.

In fact, some cannabis lobbyists, politicians advocating for federal legalization, law enforcement, cannabis companies, and trade groups are pushing Congress to close a loophole that allows the production and sale of intoxicating substances derived from legal hemp, while hemp industry players are asking lawmakers to leave the federal definition of hemp unchanged because otherwise, the amendment that aims to close the loophole and crack down on this emerging industry would "kill the hemp industry," as stated by hemp business advocacy organization U.S. Hemp Roundtable in a press release.

The turmoil in the hemp industry comes amid a sensitive moment for the cannabis industry in the country, as the process to reschedule adult-use cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act is significantly advancing.

The 2024 Farm Bill draft is still in its early stages, and the Senate has yet to release its own full version. It remains uncertain whether Congress will find a mediated solution to pass a bill regulating intoxicating hemp-derived and synthesized cannabinoid products or if the new Farm Bill will spell the end for this market.

For more Cannabis News like this, circle back to!

420 Intel News | 420 Advertising | Cannabis Business News | Medical Marijuana News | Recreational Marijuana News

Region: United States

Disqus content widget