The 2023 Farm Bill & Hemp: 7 Things To Know

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When the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, hemp became federally legal in the US. This paved the way for the hemp industry to see extraordinary growth. This also inadvertently allowed the rise of psychoactive minor cannabinoids like Delta 8 THC, Delta 10 THC, HHC, THCp, and more. This is especially the case in states that have yet to legalize adult-use marijuana. While there are some who believe that hemp should be completely criminalized, others wish to see regulations made to improve the hemp industry for stakeholders and consumers alike.

The current farm bill expires September 30th of 2023. And with the 2023 Farm Bill soon approaching, it’s important to understand how the farm bill works. It’s also vital to know how it may affect you- especially as a hemp and cannabinoid supporter. We’ll explore what the farm bill is and the proposed changes that may come with the 2023 Farm Bill.

1. What is The Farm Bill?

The Farm Bill is a package of legislation that governs a variety of programs. This includes programs related to food, climate, and national agriculture. Roughly every 5 years, Congress will draft, debate, and pass the farm bill. Once done, the president signs it into law. 

What a lot of people don’t know is just how complex and extensive the farm bill is. At nearly 1,000 pages, the Farm Bill oversees a diverse range of areas. These include food policy, public health, conservation initiatives to protect forests and waterways, school foods and even assisting low income families get groceries through the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The farm bill also has a great impact on how and what kinds of food are grown in the US. 

According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, “The first Farm Bill dates back to the 1930s and had “three original goals

  • Keep food prices fair for farmers and consumers
  • Ensure an adequate food supply
  • Protect and sustain the country’s vital natural resources”

The farm bill has gone through significant changes in the last 70 years. Despite this, its main goals remain the same. There have been 18 enacted by Congress since the original one was signed into law. 

2018 farm bill 2023 farm bill hemp

2. What Is The 2018 Farm Bill?

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law on December 12th, 2018. This act is better known as the 2018 Farm Bill. It essentially legalized hemp federally, which created an opportunity for alternative cannabinoids like Delta 8, Delta 10, and HHC to be sold. The only catch is that the final weight of the product can’t contain more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, the main psychoactive component in cannabis. 

3. 2023 Farm Bill Pain Points

Alternative cannabinoids, like Delta 8, Delta 10, and HHC, have been a largely debated topic since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed. Due to this, it’s foreseeable that there will be updates in the 2023 Farm Bill that would invariably impact the hemp industry. Whether you’re in the industry or a consumer, it’s likely you have some concerns. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is: what kind of changes will be made? 

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a legislative branch agency that works for the US Congress. They give unbiased legal and policy analysis to House and Senate members as well as committees. The CRS released a report outlining the various changes that stakeholders are hoping to see in the 2023 Farm Bill to better support the hemp industry. Based on the CSR’s research, some pain points that legislative proposals hope to address include: 

  • DEA-registered labs requirement 
  • Hot hemp issues due to low THC % limit
hemp 2023 farm bill 2018 farm bill

4. 2023 Farm Bill Suggestions Made to Improve The Hemp Industry

Remove DEA-Registered Lab Testing Requirement 

There are some who would like certain USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regulation requirements to be modified. Shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill, the USDA released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) in October 2019 enforcing that all labs used to test hemp have to be certified by the DEA. According to The CSR’s report, “some stakeholders want to reduce the oversight role of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in regulating hemp, including removing the requirement that hemp be tested at DEA-registered labs or that eligible testing labs be DEA-accredited.”

The reason some are urging to remove this requirement is because at this time, there simply aren’t enough DEA-registered testing facilities. In an attempt to become DEA-registered, many labs have been facing delays with the registration process. This is likely why the deadline for this policy to start was recently extended to December 31, 2023. The concerns are that with limited testing options, farmers’ ability to grow hemp would be backed up. One of the main arguments has been that labs don’t necessarily need to be DEA-registered in order to test for THC.

Related Article:  “What Delta 8 Lovers Need To Know Before Taking a Drug Test”

Raise THC Limit to 1% : Hot Hemp Concerns

Another amendment that others are looking to make is to raise the legal THC limit from 0.3% to 1%. According to the CSR’s report raising the limit would “provide flexibility to growers and avoid crop destruction if hemp fields exceed the legal THC threshold.” This would help with an issue hemp farmers have been dealing with known as “hot hemp”. Hot hemp is when hemp contains any more than the 0.3% Delta 9 THC limit. When hot hemp occurs, it is destroyed. The problem here is that some variables, like environmental factors, can increase the THC levels which is something farmers can’t control. 

According to a USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) report, approximately 20 percent of all hemp grown in 2021 was eradicated due to exceeding that THC threshold. Which the CRS says demonstrates “the inherent risks to farmers of growing hemp within USDA’s regulatory framework.” Raising the THC limit to 1% would make it more realistic for growers to stay under the limit. 

The executive director of the National Hemp Association (NHA), Erica Stark, reportedly advised Cannabis Business Times “that she anticipates a big push to raise the THC limit for hemp to 1% in the 2023 Farm Bill.”

5. Cannabinoids Product Safety Concerns

Since the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived cannabinoids like delta 8 and delta 10 have exploded in popularity. The product selection has also grown, with products like  Delta 9 gummies, D8 disposable vapes, and even HHC concentrates available. There are some people who are concerned that these products are too unregulated to be safe.  Per the CSR’s report, below are some proposals to further regulate alternative cannabinoids products. 

  • “Certain legislative proposals would remove FDA restrictions on the marketing of food and dietary supplements containing added hemp-derived cannabinoids (e.g., H.R. 841; S. 1698); 
  • other proposals seek to establish federal quality and safety standards as well as labeling requirements for products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids (H.R. 6134) 
  • Some propose excluding synthetic derivatives that may not be naturally occurring in the plant from the statutory definition of hemp (e.g., H.R. 6645). 
  • Still others seek to ban certain hemp derivatives and cannabinoids.”

Safety is always at the forefront of our brand. We always urge consumers to check the lab results of all the cannabinoid products they’re considering purchasing. We also recommend staying up to date on news, information, and laws surrounding these products. 

 

6. The Importance of High Quality Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids

Despite which side of the fence you’re on- for or against minor cannabinoids- it can’t be denied that many people find relief in using alternative cannabinoids. Many consumers, including Mellow Felow’s customers, report the extent to which compounds like Delta 8 and Delta 10 have helped improve their quality of life. As research in this field continues, the prospect of discovering more of these compounds’ potential benefits is exciting. Not just for the hemp industry, but most importantly, the people whose lives we are able to make a positive impact in.

hemp mellow fellow 2023 farm bill
We are proud to be featured on Leafly.

As a leading company in the hemp industry, Mellow Fellow is committed to continue providing you with the highest quality hemp-derived products. This is made possible by our own in-house PhD Chemists and Pharmacists who skillfully curate our formulation. It’s also our responsibility to keep up with industry regulations. Due to anticipated regulation changes, Mellow Fellow may be making some changes to our packaging in the near future. But don’t worry, we’ll continue making the best disposable vapes, cartridges, edibles, and more that you know and love. Don’t forget to check out our new and improved D9 Rings! Decked out in updated packaging with the same delicious taste and heavy hitting effects. 

Related Article:  “The Best Delta 9 Gummies: Mellow Fellow D9 Rings New Look

7. How Can You Get Involved?

Stakeholders, politicians, and panelists have been sharing their input as far as what the 2023 Farm Bill should entail for hemp and alt. cannabinoids. No one knows for certain what the 2023 Farm Bill will mean for hemp’s future. But with the 2018 Farm Bill expiring at the end of the year, now is the time to have your voice heard. The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry has provided a form where you can submit your proposals and feedback on the upcoming farm bill. You can also email your ideas to FarmBill2023@ag.senate.gov.

What do you think the 2023 Farm Bill will mean for the future of hemp and minor cannabinoids? And how could it affect you? Let us know in the comments below. 

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3 comments


  • Matt Steinmann

    I just had a quick question. Are you able to deliver to a P.O. Box?

    Thanks!


  • Mary Coppola

    Fun Story: 65 yrs. ago I was 14, visiting my uncle in Iowa. He had a big corn farm. Left the house with a huge trailer on his tractor. Came back hours later stacked maybe 18 ‘ high with tall green stuff, saying “This darned marijuana is killing my corn crop & I’m going to burn it all up right now”…to which I replied, “Uncle Glenn, you are burning the wrong crop”‼️🤣🤣🤣


  • Kassia May

    At least personally I am against raising the legal limit to 1% THC. I agree that hot hemp is an issue, but it is yet another result of Delta 9 being federally criminalized, and our legislative efforts should lie therein. For the interim this would just let even higher potency gummies be sold under the continually murky umbrella of “hemp”, which will further fuel public tension and confusion over legality IMO


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