[Photo Credit: By United States Fish and Wildlife Service - [1], specifically CASA1_LF.jpg. (If the links expire, the photo can be found by searching for "cannabis" at the GIMP photo archive.)The original file with a watermark is at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/sherburne/CASA1.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21916]

Amendment Designed to Prevent Nationally Legal Marijuana Gets to House

The House version of a new agriculture bill reportedly includes a prohibition on intoxicating hemp products.

The amendment would conclude America’s brief experiment with nationally legal cannabis if it is passed by a polarized House and divided Congress.

Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) inserted language into the House version of the farm bill that effectively repeals a significant legal amendment that was enacted by an all-Republican coalition in the 2018 farm bill.

The previous measure significantly simplified the process for American farmers to cultivate nonintoxicating cannabis varieties, which are defined in the statute as “hemp,” for industrial and medical purposes.

That would presumably entail the exclusion of cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC, which are naturally occurring but are typically chemically derived and certainly intoxicating.

Similarly, intoxicating beverages and edibles that contain delta-9 THC or THCa—distinctive designations for the similar active chemical found in the “marijuana” sold in regulated states such as California—would be considered.

In states such as California and Nevada, where recreational markets are strictly regulated, marijuana cultivators have been among the most vocal advocates for a crackdown on intoxicating hemp, a competing product that is frequently functionally identical to their own but lacks any form of regulation.

This is partially due to the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that hemp products are unsafe and, as a result, does not regulate them.

Nevertheless, the amendment will only affect the substantial and expanding hemp market if it is approved by the House, which is not a certainty.

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