Leading Federal Wellness Official Says Marijuana’s Legal Status Is Inhibiting Study

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) inserted language into a spending bill report on Thursday directing the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to create technologies that can distinguish hemp from its “illicit cousin” marijuana.

The provision, which was attached to legislation to fund the Division of Justice for Fiscal Year 2020, is meant to assistance hemp companies and regulators who will have to make certain that the crop is at or beneath a .three % THC content—the legal definition of hemp below the 2018 Farm Bill.

McConnell championed a measure in the wide-ranging agriculture legislation that federally legalized hemp and its derivatives, and he’s considering the fact that devoted important efforts to securing protections for the market. For instance, he backed provisions added to a separate appropriations bill final week that offers funding for the U.S. Division of Agriculture to implement hemp regulations.

“The Committee is conscious that law enforcement and other agencies want to have access to laboratory testing and on-the-spot field testing technologies and devices to distinguish among hemp and marijuana,” McConnell’s report language states.

The panel notes present DEA study on the situation and is directing the agency to “report back to the Committee not later than 180 days immediately after enactment of this act, and not significantly less than just about every six months thereafter, till such time as technologies are identified and deployed to law enforcement in the field.”

“I stand prepared to operate with Kentucky’s hemp producers to address what ever challenges arise as they discover the complete prospective of this exceptional crop,” McConnell stated of his most current provision. “Ensuring law enforcement can differentiate among industrial hemp and its illicit cousin is essential, and I’ll continue functioning with the DEA and other federal agencies so hemp can be treated the similar as any other legal commodity.”

The measure, according to a McConnell press release, directs DEA to “to determine or create on-the-spot field testing technologies” that would “enable law enforcement to distinguish among hemp and marijuana.”

DEA stated in March that it was soliciting assistance to create a device that can “provide specificity” in telling the cannabis cousins apart.

A separate provision in the new report “directs DEA to make certain the subsequent drug codes and scheduling guidance for marijuana (cannabis) and marijuana extracts shall be updated to reflect” the removal of hemp as a controlled substance.

In Might, McConnell also added language to a disaster relief funding bill clarifying that hemp farmers are entitled to federal crop insurance coverage.

In addition to his hemp-distinct advocacy, the senator has pushed the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) to create guidelines enabling 1 of the crop’s derivatives, CBD, to be marketed as a meals item or dietary supplement.

He asked the head of the FDA in a letter this month to clear a path for the lawful advertising and marketing of CBD solutions, urging the division to situation enforcement discretion suggestions so that CBD corporations know FDA will only target seriously poor actors as it develops lengthy-term regulations.

Red the complete language of the funding bill’s hemp provisions beneath:

Hemp Farming Act Guidance.—The Committee notes that the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp and its derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act. The Committee appreciates DEA’s Notice on August 27, 2019, affirming the legal status of hemp, such as hemp plants and cannabidiol [CBD] preparations at or beneath the .three % delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] threshold, and directs DEA to make certain the subsequent drug codes and scheduling guidance for marijuana (cannabis) and marijuana extracts shall be updated to reflect this removal.

Hemp Testing Technologies.—The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp and its derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act, and authorized the production, consumption and sale of hemp and hemp-derived solutions in the United States. The Act demands random testing to make certain hemp meets the definition below the law of obtaining a delta-9 THC concentration of significantly less than .three %. The Committee is conscious that law enforcement and other agencies want to have access to laboratory testing and on-the-spot field testing technologies and devices to distinguish among hemp and marijuana. The Committee is conscious that DEA is conducting study in this location and has received responses to a Request for Details to determine any technologies in the marketplace capable of offering field test kits. The Committee directs the DEA to continue to operate to determine and/or create such devices and technologies. The Committee additional directs the DEA to report back to the Committee not later than 180 days immediately after enactment of this act, and not significantly less than just about every six months thereafter, till such time as technologies are identified and deployed to law enforcement in the field.

This story was updated to note the appropriate funding legislation that the hemp provision is attached to and to include things like the complete language.

USDA Official Says There Are ‘Challenges’ Providing Hemp Farmers Insurance coverage Coverage

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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