Earlier this week, Rep. Chellie Pingree filed a measure which will make some crucial reforms to the hemp industry, including increasing the legal threshold for THC in hemp products to 1% from 0.3% on a dry weight basis. The measure, dubbed the Hemp Advancement Act, would also address an issue associated with levels of THC for in-process hemp.
Many businesses had raised concerns about the THC limit stipulated under the existing federal statute previously, as the process of extracting hemp could temporarily increase the content of THC in a plant in a way that made them liable for enforcement action.
Under this Congressional bill, in-process hemp wouldn’t be subject to any THC thresholds as long as the final product didn’t exceed 1%. This new 1% limit would include delta-9 THC, which is the commonly known psychoactive component in hemp, as well as variants like delta-10 and delta-8, which aren’t as popular but are still available in markets where marijuana hasn’t been legalized.
The measure would also eliminate a requirement stipulated under the 2018 Farm Bill that the plants can only be tested at labs registered by the DEA. In a phone interview, Pingree stated that there weren’t enough testing facilities for hemp across the country, noting that there wasn’t even one lab in Maine while there were only 2 covering New England.
She explained that laboratories which weren’t certified by the DEA were also capable of testing the crop, adding that removing this requirement would eliminate one obstacle farmers faced, as that hemp was an agricultural crop that only needed to be evaluated for appropriate reasons.
The measure would also eliminate a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill which prevents individuals who’ve been charged with drug-related felony convictions in the past decade from participating in the hemp industry. Advocates have in the past argued that this provision perpetuated racial disparities by excluding individuals from communities which had been disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition. The congresswoman explained that the ban treated hemp like a controlled substance which wasn’t the case, as hemp was an agricultural crop.
She added that prohibiting individuals using this rule was damaging to people who’d like to take part in the industry, as well as the industry as a whole, given the labor shortage in this market.
The measure is being backed by more than ten major cannabis and hemp groups, including the Hemp Industries Association, Americans for Safe Access and the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
If these proposed changes are eventually enacted into law, we are likely to see firms like Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) growing at a faster rate due to the easing of some of the rules which were making operations a tad more complex.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/RWBYF
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