House Appropriations Committee Seeks Clarity on 0.3% THC Rule in Hemp Industry

While it’s unclear what might come of this, the verbiage casts the THC cap in a new light.

July 29, 2021

The draft of a spending bill in Washington, D.C., has garnered feedback from legislators requesting that federal agencies “study and report to Congress on whether there is scientific basis for the current limit of 0.3% THC in hemp and suggest alternative levels if necessary.”

While it’s unclear what might come of this, the verbiage casts the THC cap in a new light.

The fiscal year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill is working its way through committee now, and legislators have made sure to include hemp in their comments on the matter.

“The [House Appropriations] Committee is concerned that the level of allowable THC content in hemp may be arbitrary and pose a burden on hemp producers that is not supported by science,” according to that committee’s report on the bill. Nathalie Bougenies pointed this out in her recent piece on Harris Bricken's CannaLawBlog.

The THC limit has come under scrutiny around the world, with countries setting a variety of thresholds for the industry. A 1% THC cap, as is the case in Switzerland, has picked up support around the business. 

“The U.S.’s 0.3% [cap] is a challenge during the growth cycle of the crop, particularly at the flowering stage—almost all crops on a given day will spike beyond the 0.3% [limit],” Cannovia CEO Brian Baum told us ahead of the USDA Final Rule announcement. “The plants are closely monitored and as they approach or even exceed 0.3-percent [THC], immediate steps are taken, such as reducing nutrient levels, to bring the THC levels back to the regulated tolerances. Testing is key at every stage of growing, harvesting, extracting and final product.”