A week ago, hemp advocacy organization the U.S. Hemp Roundtable sent a letter to the co-sponsors of the recently introduced Cannabis Administration Opportunity Act (CAOA) to carefully address some troubling provisions in the otherwise pro-cannabis-industry bill.
US Senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, and Cory Booker, who sponsored the bill, were asked in the letter by U.S. Hemp Roundtable General Counsel Jonathan Miller to address the following issues in the interest of establishing a healthy market for legitimate hemp products while closing loopholes for intoxicating products:
- As the bill’s language currently stands, the “allowable THC equivalent amount for products made or derived from hemp could not exceed 1 milligram of total THC per 100 grams on a dry weight basis, translating into a 0.001% total THC threshold,” per the U.S. Hemp roundtable. This would box out not only full-spectrum hemp products, but broad-spectrum products as well, pushing them into the adult-use cannabis market.
- The U.S. Hemp Roundtable also wants to see CBD singled out less harshly on the regulatory side, as they ask that all non-intoxicating hemp derivatives and cannabinoids have protections, and that companies be allowed to use “all forms of safety evaluations permitted by law, rather than mandating the use of new dietary ingredient notifications (NDINs).”
- Finally, the letter asks that the bill sponsors consider establishing another regulatory pathway for hemp-based extracts as food and beverage ingredients.
To be clear, the 0.001% THC standard for hemp-derived products (as defined in section 803 of the bill) wouldn’t legally disqualify full- and broad-spectrum products from being sold at all, but it would exclude them from the definition of hemp products, pushing them to the adult-use market where greater constraints would prohibit many who need the products from accessing them.
“The proposed THC limit as drafted would impose a devastating setback to a thriving industry, and further limit opportunities for already struggling hemp farmers,” said Jonathan Miller, General Counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
In light of the generally pro-hemp theme of the bill, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and industry watchers like ourselves are optimistic that the US Senate can craft a more appropriate approach to hemp-based products that doesn’t leave the market vulnerable to bad actors.
We’ll continue to monitor the progress of the Cannabis Administration Opportunity Act and report on any changes as they unfold.