The Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) has called for modifications to the 2023 Farm Bill to address existing loopholes relating to hemp-derived cannabinoid products.
CANNRA’s membership includes primary cannabis regulatory agencies and other state agencies – all government entities – involved in cannabis policy implementation in 45 U.S. states and U.S. territories.
While the intention of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) was to make the cultivation of non-intoxicating hemp and derived products legal, CANNRA says the language of the bill inadvertently resulted in a “thriving market” for intoxicating cannabinoid products. This was largely due to the wording specifying delta-9 THC thresholds. But delta-9 isn’t the only THC in town, and other forms of THC such as delta-8 can be created by modifying cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
CANNRA is wanting to see the language defining hemp tightened up in the 2023 Farm Bill. For example, it suggests a definition of hemp to mean the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, whether growing or not, with a total tetrahydrocannabinol (note the “delta-9” referenced dropped) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent in the plant on a dry weight basis.
It also recommends the 0.3 percent to not apply to any intermediate or final product made from hemp, as 0.3% THC can yield substantial amounts of THC in heavier items such as chocolate bars and cookies.
Other changes it wants to see include THC-A being factored in to the 0.3 percent threshold. THC-A is a precursor to delta-9 THC that “readily converts to delta-9 THC when heated, combusted, or aerosolized.”
CANNRA also wants clarification that ensure states and territories can go beyond federal policies to protect consumer safety and public health, and that a federal regulator with a background in public health and consumer protection is identified, authorised and funded to regulate cannabinoids and cannabinoid hemp products.
“The aforementioned regulatory clarifications represent examples of key initial changes that are urgently needed in the Farm Bill to support state and territorial regulators, protect consumers, and set minimum standards for industry participants,” states the letter, which can be viewed in full here.