In a March 20 letter to members of Congress, 22 attorneys general called for “much-needed improvements” on provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill related to hemp, which they say “unleashed…a flood of products that are nothing less than a more potent form of Cannabis.”  

The products, the AGs claim, are “often in candy form that is made attractive to youth and children – with staggering levels of potency, no regulation, no oversight, and a limited capability” for the attorneys general “to rein them in.” In the letter, the AGs argue that “The current law defining hemp has resulted in exploitation” and that, when applied to foods, the 0.3% THC limit – which distinguishes industrial hemp from Cannabis – “is inadequate to distinguish the potential for intoxication.”  

“The result that has been seen is excessively potent products that are manufactured under fewer controls than in states that have legalized Cannabis. Because of the ambiguity created by the 2018 Farm Bill, a massive gray market worth an estimated $28 billion has exploded, forcing Cannabis-equivalent products into our economies regardless of states’ intentions to legalize Cannabis use, and dangerously undermining regulations and consumer protections in states where adult-use legal Cannabis programs are already in place.” — Attorneys General, in the letter, March 20, 2024 

The AGs call for the federal definition of hemp under the Farm Bill, which is reauthorized every five years, to be “amended to clarify that there is no federal hemp intoxicants loophole,” and that the next reauthorization “should reaffirm that members of Congress do not intend to limit states in restrictions or regulations related to cannabinoids or any other derivatives of hemp which are deemed intoxicating.”  

The letter includes signatories from both Republican and Democrat attorneys general, including states that have legalized Cannabis broadly for adult use. The letter was sent to Rep. Glenn GT Thompson (R), chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture; Rep. David Scott, ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture; Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry; and Sen. John Boozman (R), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.  

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