The stopgap funding bill that President Joe Biden signed last week has granted a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill, which expired Sept. 30.
The bill, which also extends farm programs and food assistance, gives lawmakers until Sept. 30, 2024 to develop new legislation that hemp industry members hope will regulate CBD as a dietary supplement and food additive and address THC levels for hemp, among other concerns.
Earlier this year, more than 30 organizations representing the hemp industry collaborated on a list of policy priorities they would like to see in the next iteration of the Agriculture Improvement Act, known colloquially as the Farm Bill.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp — defined as cannabis with no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis — and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
“The five years since legalization have been challenging, and the 2023 Farm Bill is our next and best opportunity to take this industry a step forward,” Jonathan Miller, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable’s general counsel, said in April. “The unity within the industry is remarkable and telling: Our shared voice will resonate with Congress and help us turn this opportunity into meaningful progress for hemp farmers and product consumers.”
Questions also remain around regulating hemp-derived delta-9-THC and delta-8-THC, which have allowed brand owners and manufacturers to offer THC products on a national scale but have also created concerns for state-based regulated cannabis markets.