Congressional researchers have released a new report outlining some of the ways stakeholders want to change federal industrial hemp laws to better support the industry through the next farm bill. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) says that while industrial hemp was federally legalized through the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress may consider further amendments, including policy changes related to THC limits and laboratory testing. A major and unique issue facing the market is that any industrial hemp containing more than 0.3% THC by dry weight is considered "hot hemp" that must be destroyed, and a variety of factors, including environmental variables beyond the farmer's control, may inadvertently increase the THC limit. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, approximately 20 percent of all industrial hemp grown in 2021 was eradicated due to exceeding THC thresholds, which CRS said demonstrates "the inherent risk to farmers of growing industrial hemp within the USDA's regulatory framework.
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