The new 2023 Farm Bill that would address hemp may just get pushed until 2024, according to a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee. The hemp industry has already waited this long since the arrival of the 2018 Farm Bill, and this extension would just mean more waiting and uncertainty for businesses and consumers alike.
The farm bill, a package of legislation passed roughly every five years, governs a list of agricultural and food programs in the country, including food assistance like SNAP. Lawmakers failed to pass the bill by their end-of-September deadline and now face a much stricter end-of-year deadline, according to a news source.
The 2018 Farm Bill expired on September 30, which legalized hemp production nationwide. Since then, there has been a huge boom in the industry, with major cannabinoids such as delta-8, delta-9 and delta-10 THC making waves. This has caused hemp lobbyists to urge Congress to add clear hemp-derived cannabinoid product safety and testing standards to the new Farm Bill – which now may not be released until next year.
Arkansas Sen. John Boozman said in a meeting of Missouri farmers he would like to consider a one-year extension on passing the bill, although this doesn’t mean it would take the entire year for the measure to pass. In order to pass the extension, he proposes adding it to the bill responsible for funding the federal government to avoid a government shutdown.