CRS Says ‘Miller Amendment’ Won’t Ban CBD, Other Cannabinoids from Hemp

An analysis conducted by the Congressional Research Service has determined that not all hemp cannabinoids will be prohibited under a recently proposed amendment for the upcoming Farm Bill. The legislative agency stated that the amendment, which would crack down on the distribution of unregulated hemp products, wouldn’t affect nonpsychoactive natural compounds from the hemp crop, including CBD.

The amendment to the farm bill, dubbed the Miller Amendment, was introduced by Representative Mary Miller of Illinois. It was approved by the House Committee on Agriculture in May 2024.

The amendment defines hemp in a different way, differentiating between industrial hemp, which includes crops grown for fibers and food in the form of grain, as well as plants grown for flowers. Psychoactive hemp substances are derived from these flowers.

As approved by the House committee, the new draft of the farm bill redefines the 0.3% limit for hemp, combining THCA and delta-9 THC and permits only naturally derived or naturally occurring nonintoxicating compounds.

This is different from language in the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the production of industrial hemp. This bill defines hemp as any cannabis plant that does not contain more than 0.3% delta-9 THC. The 2018 bill’s definition of hemp also includes any part of the plant, including the seeds and all derivatives, cannabinoids, extracts, salts of isomers, salts, acids and isomers.

The exclusion of synthetic compounds in the recent amendment is consistent with a ruling made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) earlier this year regarding HHC, an intoxicating synthetic compound. In its ruling, the DEA determined that the aforementioned compound didn’t naturally occur in the cannabis plant and could only be obtained synthetically. This, the federal agency noted, meant it could not be included in the definition of hemp.

Some states in the country are considering implementing or have implemented similar bans for synthetic hemp compounds such as delta-10 THC, delta-8 THC, THCP, THC-O-acetate and others.

The Congressional Research Service noted that while the amendment didn’t define intoxicating, it would ban hemp products with quantifiable amounts of cannabinoids such as THC, which have similar effects on people or animals. The legislative agency added that products that contained marijuana and marijuana-derived compounds included THC, CBD and other cannabinoids, remained under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Other changes to the farm bill include the elimination or reduction of background checks and testing requirements for license applicants. Steps would also be taken to eliminate the currently imposed 10-year ban that makes it impossible for individuals previously convicted of crimes associated with a controlled substance to acquire a license.

Companies such as Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) are likely to follow how this piece of legislation progresses on Capitol Hill since it could impact the future trajectory of the hemp industry.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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