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Navigating the Complexities of THCA in Hemp Law: Insights from Courtney Moran & Justin Botillier

Updated: Mar 11

Justin Botillier, CEO of Calyx CPA, sat down with renowned attorney Courtney N. Moran, LL.M., Founding Principal of EARTH Law LLC, to discuss THCa's legal status, examining the nuances of the Farm Bill's interpretation at federal and state levels, particularly in defining hemp and THC limits, and it's implications for hemp-related businesses. They highlight the shift from Delta 9 to total THC after the 2018 Farm Bill and the resulting patchwork of state regulations. The conversation emphasizes the importance of compliance, using Oregon's total THC standard as an example. They also explore public safety, economic opportunities, and the need to stay updated with the changing regulatory landscape. See more details about their conversation below!


You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYLiBNimi4o



The legal status of Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA) in the context of hemp law is a complex and rapidly evolving topic. Here we dive into the key points raised during their conversation, shedding light on the federal and state-level regulations, ambiguities, and potential implications for businesses operating in the hemp industry.


Federal Definition of Hemp and Evolving Policies


Courtney Moran emphasized the significance of understanding the federal definition of hemp, as outlined in the 2018 farm bill. The definition has evolved, with the primary focus being on protecting hemp as a crop with a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%. The inclusion within the definition of the words "cannabinoids, derivatives, and extracts" has further shaped the regulatory landscape. Businesses must grasp these nuances, as they directly impact the legality of hemp products.


State-Level Regulations and Varied Interpretations


One of the critical challenges mentioned in the discussion was the varying interpretations and regulations at the state level. While the federal guidelines provide a foundation, individual states have established state-specific rules and restrictions regarding the cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and sale of hemp products. This patchwork of regulations has led to significant confusion and legal uncertainties, necessitating a detailed understanding of the laws in each state where business operations are conducted.


Total THC Standards and Compliance


The conversation highlighted the importance of compliance with total THC standards, particularly in states like Oregon, where stringent regulations are in place. Moran emphasized that Oregon follows a total THC approach throughout the entire hemp production and sales process. This underscores the need for businesses to align with state-specific THC concentration limits and comply with the evolving regulatory frameworks to avoid potential legal repercussions.


Risks and Consequences of Ambiguous Interpretations


Justin Botillier cautioned about the risks associated with ambiguous legal interpretations regarding THCA and hemp products. Moran echoed this sentiment, stressing the potential implications of arbitrary legal opinions and the need for a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape before bringing hemp-derived products to the market. It's imperative businesses conduct thorough due diligence, seek legal counsel specific to their operations, and stay abreast of regulatory changes to mitigate unforeseen legal consequences.


Implications for Hemp Businesses and the Need for Diligence


The conversation shed light on the need for responsible business decisions within the hemp industry. With the market evolving and regulations constantly in flux, businesses must prioritize consumer safety, regulations, and market compliance. Moran underscored the significance of awareness, suggesting that businesses closely monitor state-specific requirements, product registration processes, and potential shifts in enforcement dynamics.


The Future of Hemp Law and Advocacy Efforts


We acknowledge the advocacy efforts and ongoing legislative debates surrounding hemp law. Moran highlighted the existing conversations within Congress, focusing on public safety, economic opportunities, enforcement, and the need for balanced regulations. Additionally, Moran's lobbying efforts at both the state and federal levels, including the Industrial Hemp Act of 2023, exemplify proactive engagement with lawmakers to shape the future of hemp legislation.




The conversation between Courtney N. Moran and Justin Botillier provided invaluable insights into the intricate landscape of THCA in hemp law. The legal complexities, evolving regulatory frameworks, and enforcement dynamics necessitate a vigilant and informed approach for businesses operating in the hemp industry. By prioritizing compliance, due diligence, and regulatory awareness, hemp businesses can navigate the complex legal terrain, mitigate risks, and contribute to the responsible growth of the industry.


The webinar provides a compelling call to action for businesses and industry stakeholders to stay informed, engage in advocacy efforts, and uphold the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct within the ever-evolving realm of hemp law.



If you have questions about THCa or other compliance issues, please schedule a consultation with EARTH Law, LLC to answer your questions, and have qualified legal experts on your side! You can contact us by email at info@earthlawllc.com or by telephone at 541-632-3946.


This information is provided as a public educational service and is not intended as legal advice. For specific legal questions regarding delta-9 or THCa or about the status of another substance, please contact EARTH Law LLC at 541-632-3946 or info@earthlawllc.com to schedule a confidential consultation.

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