Extension of 2018 Farm Bill Grants Reprieve to Delta 8 Until 2024

When Congress reconvenes in January, lobbying efforts will pick up steam, and shortly after, legislative ideas for a revised Farm Bill will start to take shape.
Extension of 2018 Farm Bill Grants Reprieve to Delta 8 Until 2024

The 2018 Farm Bill, which made hemp cultivation legal in the US, has been extended through September 30, 2024. The extension, which is a component of a short-term government funding agreement that President Biden signed into law on November 16, preserves for at least another year the legal standing of cannabinoids derived from hemp, such as delta 8 THC. The 2018 bill was supposed to expire on September 30 of this year.

With the 2018 law, Congress unintentionally established a sizable market for intoxicants produced from hemp, which in some places compete with state-regulated marijuana and with marijuana sold on the illicit market everywhere. Under the protection of the 2018 law, which allowed the production of hemp as well as all naturally occurring compounds found in hemp, with the exception of delta 9 THC, both nonintoxicating CBD products and psychoactive hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as delta 8 and HHC, have proliferated.

The Cannabis sativa L. plant and all of its parts, including its seeds, derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, were expressly legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the bill's wording permits the sale of delta 8 THC, and the Drug Enforcement Administration has also acknowledged that cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in legal hemp can be marketed without fear of federal enforcement. (Legal requirements differ between states.)

Why is the Farm Bill important, and what does it mean?

Almost on par with the defense and budget acts, the Farm Bill (officially named the Agriculture Improvement Act) is one of the biggest and most complicated pieces of legislation that Congress debates. Every five years, the bill is renewed and renegotiated.

A small portion of the bill, which among other things establishes government policy on forestry, conservation, nutrition, and agriculture, deals with hemp and associated concerns. The Farm Bill allocates significant funds for crop insurance subsidies, commodity price supports, nutritional aid, and agricultural disaster relief. Numerous lobbyists and special interest groups with a wide range of interests take an interest in the measure due to its scope and financial implications.

For the first time since 1970, farmers were able to legally grow hemp according to the 2014 Farm Bill. However, the 2018 Farm Bill gave the Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulatory authority over hemp instead of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The Farm Bill for the next year will eliminate Delta 8.

Legislators who backed hemp legalization in 2018 had no idea that the move would pave the way for the emergence of a lucrative market centered on the highly intoxicating cannabinoids found in hemp. However, they now know—and if they don't, they will soon be made aware of it by a law enforcement official, an anti-drug advocate, or a marijuana lobbyist.

Congress will negotiate and debate the next Farm Bill throughout the upcoming year, and some adjustments to the legislation about hemp will probably be included. Remarkably, proponents of cannabis prohibition are not the only ones calling for new legislation to severely restrict the psychoactive hemp sector. Some organizations that speak for marijuana firms subject to state regulations also want to limit the production and distribution of hemp products that are highly intoxicating.

Numerous parties, both pro- and anti-cannabis, are pushing for different hemp regulations to be included in the upcoming Farm Bill. Among the adjustments that have been proposed thus far are the following:

  • Raising the legal THC threshold for hemp from the current 0.3 percent to 1.0 percent
  • Some propose increasing the threshold to 1.0 percent while allowing for the total amount of all cannabinoids.
  • Including THC-A in hemp's permissible delta 9 THC level
  • Complete prohibition of cannabinoids produced from hemp, or restriction of legality to cannabinoids that are extracted from hemp plants
  • Regulating THC in all forms uniformly
  • Raising the age limit to 21 for the purchase of any cannabis product
  • Mandating that the FDA control CBD content in food and dietary supplements
  • Removing the need for DEA testing for growers of hemp used only for industrial uses (mostly fiber)
  • Easing bank restrictions for companies and farmers who cultivate hemp

When Congress reconvenes in January, lobbying efforts will pick up steam, and shortly after, legislative ideas for a revised Farm Bill will start to take shape.

men - 1 About Author
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Kevin S. is an experienced vape writer and collector of VaporBoss. I have been writing about disposables, e-liquids, and vape coils for half a decade now. With a commitment to accuracy and clarity, I guide readers through the maze of information, providing valuable insights for both beginners and experienced vapers. My writing not only demystifies the technical jargon, but also delves into the cultural nuances, trends, and regulations that shape the ever-evolving vaping community.

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