More than 20 U.S. attorneys general are urging Congress to address “intoxicating hemp products” in the Farm Bill reauthorization slated for this year.

In a March 20 letter to top members of the House and Senate agriculture committees, the attorneys general noted that a “glaring vagueness” in the 2018 Farm Bill — which removed hemp and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act has paved the way for the introduction of hemp-infused products.

Some of these products feature CBD, which has received separate calls for regulation as a food additive and dietary supplement. However citing the 2018 Farm Bill brands are increasingly launching offerings with hemp-derived delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC as a means of increasing product accessibility, entering traditional retail channels such as liquor stores, and nationally scaling their business in a fragmented, state-by-state market.

This trend has drawn concern from the regulated cannabis industry, since hemp-derived products typically don’t face the same testing and potency requirements.

 “The reality is that this law has unleashed on our states a flood of products that are nothing less than a more potent form of cannabis, 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 our offices to rein them in,” the letter reads.

Late last year, a federal stopgap funding bill granted a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill. Legislators have until Sept. 30 to create new legislation.

The attorneys general have asked Congress to amend the definition of hemp “to clarify that there is no federal hemp intoxicants loophole,” and in the 2023 Farm Bill, “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.”

Among the signees are attorneys general from the country’s most mature regulated cannabis markets, including California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, as well as the attorneys general from the burgeoning cannabis markets of Connecticut, Missouri and Maryland.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison also signed the letter. As one of the most unique markets in the country, Minnesota has regulations allowing hemp-infused beverages and edibles to be sold in the state, as well as rules establishing and supporting adult-use and medical cannabis programs.  

The full list of attorneys general who signed the letter includes:

  • Todd Rokita, Indiana
  • Tim Griffin, Arkansas
  • Rob Bonta, California
  • Philip J. Weiser, Colorado
  • William Tong, Connecticut
  • Brian Schwalb, District of Columbia
  • Chris Carr, Georgia
  • Anne E. Lopez, Hawaii
  • Brenna Bird, Iowa
  • Kris Kobach, Kansas
  • Anthony G. Brown, Maryland
  • Keith Ellison, Minnesota
  • Andrew Bailey, Missouri
  • Josh Stein, North Carolina
  • Drew H. Wrigley, North Dakota
  • Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon
  • Michelle A. Henry, Pennsylvania
  • Marty Jackley, South Dakota
  • Jonathan Skrmetti, Tennessee
  • Jason Miyares, Virginia
  • Bob Ferguson, Washington