Washington, D.C.—Vote Hemp is urging the hemp community to join the call to ask Congress to change the legal definition of hemp to allow 1% THC. A petition from Vote Hemp explains: We need Congress to change the definition of hemp to allow up to 1% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) so that farmers can grow hemp crops without fearing that they will later have to destroy them.
“We need to let Congress know that changing the definition is critical to our nascent industry, especially for farmers,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. “It is not fair to producers to who are already struggling due to difficult market conditions, to risk losing their hemp crop due to it testing slightly above the current federal limit of 0.3%. We hope to submit as many signatures as we can in the next 30 days, and encourage all members of the hemp community to sign and share the petition with their friends, colleagues and co-workers.”
Steenstra explained in a press release that if Congress changes the definition, “there would be very few cases of America’s hemp farmers getting their crop destroyed. While the industry continues to work on more stable varieties, people would still have to be careful, but if we moved to 1%, the number of samples that would test hot would be very limited.”
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Vote Hemp notes in the release that the current 0.3% THC limit mandated by Congress was “arbitrarily set by Canadian cannabis researcher Dr. Ernest Small in the 1970s” and that it “has proved to be problematic for growers, producers and manufacturers alike.” Vote Hemp also reported that Dr. Small agrees that “a 0.3% level is very conservative,” telling Cannabis Now that the 0.3% THC designation for hemp has had negative implications for biodiversity and the growth of the hemp market. Cannabis Now quoted Dr. Small: “0.3% is proving a little problematical for those who wish to produce some cultivars. It’s an especially stringent criterion [for] those who want to produce CBD.”
Vote Hemp also stressed, “The hemp industry is creating good jobs in farming and manufacturing and we need to ensure the industry can continue to grow and compete with other countries that allow higher THC levels.” Steenstra added, “We are hoping there will be action; there’s a desperate need. We need to get as many people involved and to recognize that this is critical to the future of the hemp industry. We need the community to step up in a big way…and quickly.” The petition can be found here.