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An image showing the hand of a farmer in a hemp field, concerned about the Farm Bill updates in 2024 potentially impacting business

Knoxville, TN Hemp Update: What to Expect from the 2024 Farm Bill Updates

An image showing the hand of a farmer in a hemp field, concerned about the Farm Bill updates in 2024 potentially impacting business.

The hemp industry in Knoxville, TN, is particularly vibrant. It’s been on a rollercoaster since the 2018 Farm Bill passed. The landmark legislation effectively took hemp out of the list of items on the Controlled Substances Act, categorizing it more accurately as an agricultural commodity.

The bill led to a boom in the industry for hemp-derived products, including those that consist of delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC. The 2018 Farm Bill also made it easier for people looking for a way to relax while remaining compliant with state laws.

After a couple of extensions, the 2018 Farm Bill has expired, and the 2024 Farm Bill Updates may change how hemp-derived products are bought and sold in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture proposed guidelines that can affect hemp businesses and consumers.

If you’re concerned about all the updates, we’ll break it down for you.

A Look Back at the 2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill was a transformative piece of legislation for the hemp industry in the United States. It removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, defining it as any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant with a dryweight delta-9 THC concentration below 0.3%.

This change allowed legal cultivation, production, and sale of hemp and its derivatives, including delta-8 products. The legislation spurred rapid growth in the hemp sector, leading to many products available today.

With the 2024 Farm Bill updates, legislators in Tennessee are trying to eliminate the “loophole” from the bill that might change the market for hemp-derived products for producers and consumers alike.

The Cannabinoid at the Center of The Major Update

An image showing premium organic hemp flowers.

While the proposed version extensively covers several aspects, the Farm Bill that is due to come into effect on July 1, 2024, concerns a particular compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. These plants contain chemicals called cannabinoids, primarily THC and CBD.

THC is the psychoactive compound found in high concentrations in the cannabis plant, but hemp compounds contain less than 0.3% of the compound. Since THC is classified as an illegal compound, hemp, and hemp derivative products did not constitute any breach of laws. As such, THCa, another cannabinoid derived from hemp plants, was not in consideration for regulators in the 2018 version. The latest update to regulations will likely change that.

Key Facts You Must Know About the 2024 Farm Bill Updates

Redefined THC Limits

One of the most significant changes in the 2024 Farm Bill is the redefinition of THC limits. Previously, the focus was solely on delta-9 products, but the new bill proposes a more comprehensive approach by including Total THC, including delta-9 THCa.

While THCa itself is not psychoactive, introducing it to heat can form THC, effectively increasing the THC level of hemp-derived products. By including THCa in the new bill, legislators are trying to close the “loophole” and maintain a more consistent industry standard for the concentration of THC allowed in compliant products.

Distinguishing Between Industrial and Cannabinoid Hemp

The 2024 Farm Bill introduces a bifurcated definition of hemp to distinguish between its various uses​. “Industrial hemp” refers to hemp grown for non-consumable purposes, such as fiber, grain, and seeds. In contrast, “cannabinoid hemp” will be defined as hemp cultivated specifically for extracting cannabinoids intended for human or animal consumption.

This distinction will clarify regulatory frameworks and address the safety and market concerns associated with each type of hemp. It will help streamline compliance based on more reliable standards.

Restrictions on Intoxicating Cannabinoids

An unfortunate result of the new update to the Farm Bill is an added level of restrictions on products that contain synthetic cannabinoids and intoxicating derivatives from the hemp plant. This means that products like THCa and other delta-8 products are in danger of being classified as illegal.

This is, by far, one of the biggest concerns for consumers reliant on delta-8 THC products to enjoy the relief they cannot get through cannabis-derived THC products.

The Impact on Knoxville’s Hemp Industry

An image of a cultivator checking on the crop of hemp grown to extract delta-8 compound.

The changes introduced by the 2024 Farm Bill will have a big impact on the hemp industry in Knoxville. Producers must adapt their cultivation and production practices to comply with the new Total THC limits. This may involve selecting different hemp strains, adjusting cultivation techniques, or investing in new testing technologies to ensure compliance.

For consumers, the new Farm Bill updates can lead to a reduction in the availability and composition of hemp-derived products, particularly those that contain delta-8 THC.

The 2024 Farm Bill represents a significant shift in the regulatory framework for the hemp industry. The Farm Bill updates are introducing changes to THC limits, clearer distinctions between different types of hemp, and stricter regulations on intoxicating cannabinoids and marketing practices.

As many business owners protest the changes, it remains to be seen how it will impact the market.

If you’re looking for high-quality delta-8 products right now, visit the Freedom Health Hemp Shop today and continue to explore the Freedom Health Difference!