Congressional hemp leaders sent a letter to the FDA, DEA and USDA today. It clarifies several important topics for these agencies including “The Definition of Industrial Hemp” which suggests the USDA’s Statement on Industrial Hemp is not in line with the 2014 Farm Bill and raises concerns about the USDA, DEA and FDA attempt to alter the definition of industrial hemp and negatively impact commerce.

The hemp leaders of Congress, which include Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ron Wyden, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Tom Massie (among others), issued these concerns:

Our concerns are twofold: We disagree with Executive Branch more narrowly defining what Congress has already clearly defined in law. With such a narrow definition, limiting application of industrial purposes to fiber and seed, research will be prohibited from studying other parts of the hemp plant, which are vital to understanding the entire plant and all of its potential uses. For instance, over half of Kentucky’s hemp acres are being used to research cannabidiol (CBD), an oil, which could be prohibited under the guidance’s definition.

The Congressional leaders are sending a clear message to that the industry will push back against these agencies and their  attempting to alter the rights of cultivators under Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill.

1. Definition of Industrial Hemp

“…remove the definition of industrial hemp provided in the guidance of revise it to be identical to the definition as laid out in the 2014 Farm Bill so as to align the guidance with the law and avoid any confusion of chilling effect among industrial hemp growers across the country.”

2. General Commercial Activity

“…confirm that “general commercial activity” does not prevent any type of sale occuring from the framework of an approved pilot program.”

3. Seed and State Lines

“…remove the attempted prohibition on transporting plants and seeds across state lines…confirm that a state will not be penalized from securing sees and plant shipments from other state(s) with approved industrial hemp pilots programs.”

With November elections on the horizon, the hemp industry is proud to see leaders of Congress pushing back against the Statement on Industrial Hemp letter. We will continue to cover the news as it emerges between Congress and the FDA, DEA and USDA.

Read Full Hemp Guidance Letter