State Cannabis Regulators Call for Changes to Hemp and Cannabinoid Rules in 2023 Farm Bill

Cannabis Regulations: Navigating the Changing Landscape

Hey there, fellow cannabis enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the ever-evolving world of cannabis regulations. You might be wondering why this topic is crucial. Well, my friends, as we’ll explore in this blog post, the rules surrounding cannabis, particularly hemp and cannabinoids, are in the midst of a significant transformation.

Cannabis Regulations and the 2023 Farm Bill

Let’s start at the heart of the matter: the . This is where all the action is happening, and it’s no surprise that the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) is right in the thick of it. These regulators are urging Congress to make some long-overdue changes to the rules governing hemp and cannabinoids.

Why the Urgency?

The urgency stems from the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp across the United States. Sounds great, right? Well, not quite. It inadvertently created a thriving market for claiming to be within the definition of ‘hemp,’ and some of these products pack a rather intoxicating punch.

Defining Hemp and Cannabinoids

CANNRA is calling for a much-needed split in the definition of hemp. They want one category for hemp used in food, fiber, and feed, and another for hemp used for everything else, including cannabinoid extraction.

But here’s where it gets even more interesting: they’re pushing to factor in when defining cannabinoid thresholds. THC-A is like the precursor to delta-9 THC, and it can transform into the good stuff when heated or aerosolized.

The THC Dilemma

Now, about that 0.3-percent THC limit. It’s caused quite a stir, especially when it comes to products like chocolate bars and cookies. CANNRA is suggesting that we need to differentiate between THC limits in the plants themselves and the finished products. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

A Federal Cannabis Watchdog

CANNRA isn’t just about splitting hairs. They’re also urging Congress to create a federal regulatory agency with a focus on public and consumer protection. This agency would be tasked with setting clear definitions for cannabinoids, processing standards, ingredient guidelines, testing requirements, and packaging and labeling rules.

In other words, they want to ensure that when you pick up a hemp-derived product, you know exactly what you’re getting.

States’ Rights in the Mix

Now, don’t think this is all about federal oversight. CANNRA also wants to make sure states can go above and beyond federal regulations to safeguard consumer safety and public health. After all, local expertise can be invaluable.

The Farm Bill Buzz

All this talk isn’t just background noise. The next iteration of the Farm Bill is in the works, and it’s set to address these issues. Lawmakers are gearing up for more clarity on cannabinoids and measures to support the struggling hemp market.

Congressional Initiatives

Speaking of lawmakers, they’ve been making moves too. Legislation has been introduced to ease restrictions on hemp farmers. Senators Jon Tester and Mike Braun, along with Representatives Matt Rosendale and Chrissy Houlahan, are on a mission to make life easier for those in the hemp game.

FDA in the Hot Seat

Now, let’s turn our attention to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many fingers are pointing in their direction, blaming the agency for the economic downturn in the hemp . The FDA’s reluctance to establish regulations for hemp-derived compounds, particularly in dietary supplements and food products, has caused quite the headache.

The Ripple Effect

This lack of regulatory clarity has had a ripple effect on the hemp market, leading to lower prices for growers and declining production values. It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s one we need to address.

DEA’s Take on Synthetic Cannabinoids

Over at the Drug Enforcement Administration (), they’ve made it clear that synthetically produced cannabinoids, like THC, are still considered federally illegal controlled substances. This stance, while controversial, underscores the need for federal and consistency.

Congress Takes the Reins

Chairman James Comer has promised an investigation into the FDA’s stance on . He’s determined to address the lack of rules, and many in Congress share his sentiment.

A Holistic Approach

The key takeaway here is that we need a holistic approach to the issue. It’s not just about one aspect of the hemp and cannabinoid industry; it’s about creating comprehensive rules that cover everything, even delta-8 THC.

Oversight and Access

Patrick Cournoyer, a senior science advisor at the FDA, recognizes the need for oversight in the hemp-derived cannabinoid market. He’s open to working with Congress to strike a balance between regulatory oversight and consumer access.

In conclusion, my fellow cannabis aficionados, the world of cannabis regulations is evolving rapidly. From the 2023 Farm Bill to congressional initiatives and the FDA’s role, there’s a lot on our plate. But with the right regulations in place, we can ensure that the cannabis industry continues to grow responsibly.

So, here’s to a future where cannabis regulations are clear, sensible, and in the best interest of consumers. Thanks to Ben Adlin for shedding light on this crucial topic. Stay tuned for more updates on the evergreen world of cannabis!

[Author’s Note: Thanks to Ben Adlin for reporting on this issue.]

Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

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