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21 AGs Request Congress Act on Intoxicating Hemp

Updated: Mar 27


On March 20, 2024, 21 Attorneys General (AGs) from across the U.S., including Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, sent a lettear to the leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees regarding the five-year authorization of the Farm Bill. The Committees  are urged to address “the proliferation of intoxicating hemp products across the nation” writing that hemp-derived intoxicants are “a crisis issue impacting our states, our public safety, and our role as law enforcement officials.” 

A footnote provides the context for the meaning of “intoxicating hemp”:

“Intoxicating hemp products are produced, derived from hemp-created CBD. They can be available in forms that claim to be non-intoxicating hemp, while still containing tangible quantities of delta-8, delta-9, or other known intoxicating cannabinoids. Others are simply sold as intoxicants. All are products which both the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration consider to be illegal, subject to the Federal Analogue Act if not for protections granted by the 2018 Farm Bill.” 

The AGs specifically express concern over the “exploitation” of the 2018 Farm Bill’s definition of hemp, and the inclusion of “derivatives” within the definition. They comment on a $28 Billion gray market that undermines “regulations and consumer protections”, including in states that already have adult-use cannabis programs like Oregon, Colorado, California, and Washington. Of particular concern are products with misleading labels and packaging that mimics other popular brands of candy and snacks creating an “exceptional risk” for children. 

The AGs wrote, 

“Regardless of your Committees’ intentions, the reality is that this law has unleashed on our states a flood of products that are nothing less than a more potent form of cannabis, often in candy form that is made attractive to youth and children—with staggering levels of potency, no regulation, no oversight, and a limited capability for our offices to rein them in.”

In requesting assistance from the Committees in the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization, the AGs urge Congress to address their concerns and amend the definition of hemp, 

“... our states are being tested in our efforts to regulate these potentially dangerous products. These intoxicating hemp products, by virtue of their potential hazard to consumers, must be regulated by each state. The definition of hemp should be amended to clarify that there is no federal hemp intoxicants loophole, and the 2023 reauthorization should reaffirm that members of Congress do not intend to limit states in restrictions or regulations related to cannabinoids or any other derivatives of hemp which are deemed intoxicating.”


The AGs concluded, “We share your commitment to farmers and support an orderly market for industrial hemp and non-intoxicating hemp-derived products.” 

The letter was co-led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin. They were joined by AGs from California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

A full copy of the letter is available here.

If you operate or sell in Oregon please know that Oregon has already adopted laws, regulations, and policies that address many of the concerns outlined by the AGs. We are your trusted legal resource if you have any questions about Oregon-specific policies:

  • hemp-derived product manufacturing/handling licensing requirements

  • Hem-derived product sales, 

  • THC limits, 

  • import/export requirements and restrictions, 

  • recordkeeping and reporting requirements

  • Upcoming labeling and product registration requirements

  • Proposed vendor license 

Please contact us if you have any questions about this letter and the potential impact on your business operations as you engage in both intrastate and interstate commerce of hemp-derived products at or 541-632-3946. 

The upcoming Farm Bill is still under negotiation. If changes to the definition of hemp will impact your business, this is your opportunity to weigh in and have your policy positions heard! If you are in need of legislative advocacy, lobbying, or other government relations services, please contact our sister government relations firm Agricultural Hemp Solutions at, or by phone at 202-656-7023.

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