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House Farm Bill & Miller Amendment Includes New Definition for Hemp at 0.3% total THC

Updated: May 30

House Farm Bill Includes New Definition for Hemp at 0.3% total THC

On Thursday, May 23, the House Agriculture Committee held markup of the House Farm Bill, H.R. 8467 The Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, introduced on May 21. (Provisions relating to hemp production start on page 448.) The Markup lasted over 11 hours, including debates and protests over the $1.5 trillion package.

Included in the debates was a controversial Amendment, the "Miller Amendment", which if signed into law will have major consequences for the hemp cannabinoid sectors (both intoxicating and non-intoxicating). While the bill faces serious challenges from agriculture industry stakeholders on various issues and is NOT expected to pass its current form, the hemp industry must take this as a clear warning that significant federal policy changes are likely ahead!

Introduced House Farm Bill

The introduced bill differs in core concepts from the Discussion Draft published May 17, including the sections relating to hemp production.

The House Farm Bill offers updates to the 2018 Farm Bill language, including:

  • a new definition for industrial hemp including hemp grown for fiber, grain, microgreens, research, and seeds to produce industrial hemp

  • requirement for producers to designate the type of production as industrial hemp or hemp grown for any purpose

  • new regulatory framework for industrial hemp production verification in State, Tribal, or USDA Plans providing for visual inspections, performance-based sampling methodologies, certified seed, or similar procedures

    • includes a requirement that a producer shall provide documentation or undergo a harvest inspection to verify the intent of production

    • provides enforcement action of 5-year ineligibility to participate in the program for violations of an industrial hemp production designation

  • eliminates felony restrictions for those designating only industrial hemp production

  • provides the USDA Secretary with the authority to issue certificates of accreditation to laboratories

"The Miller Amendment" and the New Definition for "Hemp"

The night before Markup, several Amendments, including Amendment 35- the "Miller Amendment"- were introduced. During the Markup, 19 of these Amendments, including the Miller Amendment were adopted "en bloc" by a "voice vote" rather than a roll call vote on each individual amendment.

"(1) HEMP "(A) IN GENERAL.-The term 'hemp' means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoicls, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a total tetrahydrocannabinol concentration (including tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) of not more than 0.3 percent in the plant on a dry weight basis.

What the House Farm Bill Hemp Miller Amendment does:

  • creates a new definition for "Hemp" at 0.3% total THC (including THCA)

  • provides the following Exclusions from the new definition of "Hemp":

  • viable seeds from a plant that exceeds a 0.3% total THC concentration in the plant

  • Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid Products containing:

  • cannabinoids not capable of being produced in the plant

  • cannabinoids capable of being naturally produced in the plant AND were synthesized or manufactured outside the plant

  • As Determined by the Secretary, quantifiable amounts of

  • THC (including THCA)

  • other cannabinoids that have similar effects or are marketed to have similar effects on humans OR animals as THC (as determined by the Secretary)

  • creates a new definition for "Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid Products"

  • updates the testing authority from the 2018 Farm Bill from delta-9 THC to total THC (including THCA) (we note that USDA already requires total THC testing pre-harvest in the USDA Final Rules, all states require total THC pre-harvest testing, and some states also require products to meet total THC testing)

(2) Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid Products The term "hemp-derived cannabindoid product" means any intermediate or final form products derived from hemp, excluding industrial hemp, that- (A)contains cannabinoids in any form, and (B) is intended for human OR animal use through any means of application or administration such as inhalation, ingestion, or topical application

If you have concerns about the Miller Amendment changes to the definition of hemp, the potential impact on your business, the current market, and the legality of products, the EARTH Law team is here to help! Please schedule a Consultation at or call us at 541-632-3946.
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