Key Components of the Industrial Hemp Act are in the Farm Bill!

We are thrilled to share the news that all of the key components of the Industrial Hemp Act of 2023 that we have been working on for more than 2 and a half years have been successfully included in the discussion draft of the House version of the Farm Bill!

Highlights from the House Working Draft:

The language from the draft released today, reflects all the key components of the Industrial Hemp Act. These updates include:

New Definitions: The bill bifurcates the different types of hemp by definition:

  • Industrial Hemp: This encompasses hemp grown for its stalks and fibers, seeds and derivatives, immature plants for consumption, research purposes, and viable seeds for further production. Notably, it also includes microgreens within the definition of industrial hemp.
  • Hemp Grown for Cannabinoid Extraction: This refers to hemp grown specifically for extracting cannabinoids for human or animal consumption, inhalation, or topical use.

State and Tribal Plans:

  • Designation Requirement: Producers must now designate their hemp production type as industrial hemp, hemp grown for cannabinoid extraction, or both. This categorization will streamline regulatory oversight and support more tailored agricultural practices.
  • Inspection and Sampling Adjustments: States and tribes can reduce or eliminate sampling and testing requirements for industrial hemp producers who meet certain documentation criteria. This change recognizes the distinct nature of industrial hemp and simplifies compliance for farmers, allowing options such as visual inspection or the use of certified seed.
  • Felony Ineligibility Adjustment: The amendment introduces a procedure to eliminate the 10-year ineligibility period for hemp producers with a felony related to controlled substances, provided they are designated as industrial hemp producers. This change opens the door for more individuals to participate in the industry, promoting inclusivity and growth.
  • Research Protections: The draft also includes added protections for researchers, supporting academic and independent research institutions in advancing hemp knowledge and innovation.

How This Benefits Our Members:

  • Clearer Regulatory Pathways: By distinguishing between types of hemp production, these changes provide clarity and reduce regulatory burdens, making it easier for farmers to comply with state and federal laws.
  • Enhanced Research Opportunities: The new definition of industrial hemp includes plants used for research, supporting academic and independent research institutes in advancing hemp knowledge and innovation.
  • Greater Industry Inclusivity: While we would have liked to see the ban removed for all hemp producers, the adjustment to felony ineligibility criteria ensures that more individuals can contribute to and benefit from the hemp industry, fostering a more diverse and resilient community.

The only significant component we did not secure is the preemption clause, which would have provided a uniform regulatory framework across states. Instead, states can choose from various regulatory options, including visual inspection or the use of certified seed.

It is also important to note that while we celebrate this success, we remain vigilant and concerned about potential amendments that may impact the cannabinoid side of the industry.

This comes on the heels of our Industrial Hemp Act priorities also being included in the Senate section by section of the Farm Bill.

Gratitude and Acknowledgements:

These achievements would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our key partners, Agricultural Hemp Solutions and IND HEMP. We extend our deepest gratitude to them and to everyone who used our advocacy platform to reach out to their elected officials.

Your grassroots efforts have made a significant difference—advocacy works!

Thank you for your continued support for NHA and our work! Together, we are making significant strides towards a brighter future for hemp production.

Join us today and be a part of our major achievements like the inclusion of key components from the Industrial Hemp Act of 2023 in the Farm Bill! Your membership is vital as it enabls us to continue advocating for the hemp industry. Beyond promotional opportunities and other member benefits, your support drives successes that benefit the entire industry. Together, we can ensure a thriving future for hemp production. Join NHA now and contribute to meaningful change!