What's today's weed news we go to the United States Department of Agriculture.
When President Trump signed the U.S. Farm Bill into law about a year ago in December, the official definition of hemp included the stipulation that the plant contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The US Department of Agriculture has its own set of rules which even allow a little bit of leeway, accepting plants as hemp with concentrations of THC up to a half percent.
But now, thousands of people involved in the hemp industry and a surprising number of pro-hemp lawmakers are coming out in support of raising the official allowable levels of THC and plants that can still be considered hemp by law.
Two senators from Oregon even wrote a letter to the US Department of Agriculture asking that the Department to consider some changes to the current legal framework, including raising the allowable THC limit of hemp plants to a whole 1%.
Some of the other things that Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden also asked for in their letter included allowing third-party labs to test the THC levels as well as testing for only delta-9 THC levels, and not the "full spectrum" of THC.
Furthermore, Senator Chuck Schumer from New York also recently voiced his opinion about this topic saying "They need to look at these rules and re-examine them... This (hemp) has tremendous, tremendous potential, and all the excitement about growing and processing hemp, and creating lots of jobs, could go away if these rules are done in too narrow and restrictive a way.
I wouldn't be surprised if in the near future, more and more people came out in support of raising the THC levels of hemp. I too agree that it would probably help make hemp farmers' and processors jobs easier and therefore help the hemp boom grow even faster.
The one thing that I feel like is tricky about this situation is making sure that people don't end up processing hemp to get high. Although I'm sure some people would be happy if that was a possibility, I think that that could actually backfire and make some lawmakers uneasy about the hemp industry as a whole.
But I guess for right now, this is just a conversation and the letter sent by the Oregon senators really just voices their opinion and what they would like to see happen. Unfortunately I don't think that that letter alone is going to be enough to convince the USDA to make any kind of changes at all.
As usual, I plan to keep my eye on any new developments pertaining to this story and keep you guys updated as any info comes in.
And for now, that's what's up with raising THC levels of hemp and the United States Department of Agriculture.
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