Hemp at 1% THC wins new Senate proposal

A bill to triple the THC limit for hemp grown in the United States has been introduced by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

The Republican’s proposal to raise the THC dividing line between hemp and marijuana from 0.3% THC to 1% THC stands little chance of success in the abbreviated lame-duck Congress. But the suggestion reflects widespread concern in the industry that the current THC limit for hemp is too low for a new crop with unstable genetics.

The bill would also raise the THC limit for hemp byproducts such as extracted oils. Products with more than 1% THC would remain illegal Schedule 1 substances.

Also, the proposal would allow farmers to have the final hemp products tested, not the raw plant material, opening the door for mitigating hot hemp.

“There is still work to do to prevent the federal government from weighing down our farmers with unnecessary bureaucratic micromanaging,” Paul said in a statement.

Paul’s bill would add a requirement that hemp shipments be accompanied by certificates saying that the products are legal.

Paul’s suggestion comes less than a month after Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, himself a hemp grower, called on Congress to raise the THC limit, calling 0.3% “way, way too low.”

The Senate has another pending measure approved by its House counterparts this month to take all varities of cannabis out of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. That proposal passed the House 228-164 but has seen no action by the Senate.

Both proposals die next month, when a new Congress is seated and must begin taking up new legislation.