• April 16, 2024

U.S. State Attorneys General Want Action on Hemp

 U.S. State Attorneys General Want Action on Hemp

A bipartisan group of 20 state attorneys general are imploring Congress to take action to address a looming public health “crisis” due to the burgeoning multibillion-dollar market for intoxicating hemp products.

Congress legalized hemp under the 2018 farm bill, touting it as a boon for struggling farmers. However, the market has become increasingly dominated by what some call “intoxicating products” that are largely unregulated and often sold at gas stations and convenience stores.

“The reality is that this law has unleashed on our states a flood of products that are nothing less than a more potent form of cannabis, often in candy form that is made attractive to youth and children — with staggering levels of potency, no regulation, no oversight, and a limited capability for our offices to rein them in,” reads the letter, shared exclusively with POLITICO, which was sent to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate agriculture committees.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, both Republicans, led the letter. But it also includes many notable Democrats, including California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Colorado Attorney General Philip Weiser.

The attorneys general are calling on federal lawmakers to address the issue in the next farm bill, which has been repeatedly pushed back potentially to 2025. They want Congress to alter the definition of hemp under federal law—currently cannabis with no more than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC—although they don’t provide any specific recommendations for how it should be changed. In addition, they want federal lawmakers to clarify that states have the authority to regulate and restrict hemp and other cannabinoids.