A bill introduced in the U.S. House on Tuesday would increase allowable THC limits in hemp products, remove requirements that hemp be tested at Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered laboratories, and eliminate the 10-year ban on individuals with drug-related felony convictions from receiving industry licenses.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) said while the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production, it “created overly complicated regulations and hardship for farmers and small businesses in the process.”
“My bill takes a commonsense, straightforward approach to correct these unintended implementation problems and works to make the hemp industry more profitable and more equitable. My bill also provides a clear path forward for this industry and will support a thriving hemp economy.” – Pingree in a statement
Pingree noted that in her home state of Maine, there are currently no laboratories registered with the DEA with the capability to test hemp products. While more than 2,000 acres of hemp were planted in Maine in 2019, only 111 farmers received licenses to grow hemp in 2020, accounting for just 211 acres, she added.
In a statement, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable said the organization is “deeply grateful” to Pingree for spearheading the legislation.
“The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is proud to have led a broad-based industry effort to propose the policies that underlie this legislation and to have worked closely with Rep. Pingree’s excellent staff throughout the drafting process to ensure our concerns were taken into consideration,” the group said. “Rep. Pingree’s vision and tenacity will make a significant and meaningful difference for our emerging industry.”
The Hemp Roundtable is joined by 13 other hemp industry organizations in backing the legislation.
Pingree is also a co-sponsor on the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act and voted in favor of the MORE Act in December 2020.
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