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Pingree Unveils Bill to Unburden Hemp Industry

The Hemp Advancement Act of 2022 addresses unresolved issues in the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill hemp provisions

WASHINGTON, DC—Today Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) introduced the Hemp Advancement Act of 2022 to improve the 2018 Farm Bill’s hemp provisions and provide greater clarity and flexibility to hemp growers and processors. While hemp production was federally legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, red tape and regulatory uncertainty has hindered industry growth. 

“The 2018 Farm Bill laid a legal pathway for hemp production but created overly complicated regulations and hardship for farmers and small businesses in the process. I am introducing The Hemp Advancement Act of 2022 to eliminate unworkable testing requirements, set reasonable THC thresholds for producers and processors while protecting consumers, and end the discriminatory policy that bans people with drug convictions from growing legal hemp,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “My bill takes a commonsense, straightforward approach to correct these unintended implementation problems and works to make the hemp industry more profitable and more equitable. My bill also provides a clear path forward for this industry and will support a thriving hemp economy.”

The Hemp Advancement Act of 2022 would:

  • Raise the allowable THC threshold for hemp and in-process hemp extract to make the rules more workable for growers and processors while ensuring that final hemp products sold to consumers aren’t intoxicating.
  • Remove the requirement that hemp testing occur in DEA-registered laboratories, which is a particular challenge in Maine where there currently aren’t any of these facilities.
  • End the 10-year ban on people with drug-related felony convictions receiving a hemp license, which disproportionately excludes communities of color from participating in this emerging market.

This bill is supported by:

  • U.S. Hemp Roundtable
  • American Herbal Products Association
  • Americans for Safe Access
  • Association of Western Hemp Professionals
  • Friends of Hemp
  • Hemp Alliance of Tennessee
  • Hemp Industries Association
  • iHemp Michigan
  • Realm of Caring Foundation, Inc.
  • U.S. Hemp Authority
  • U.S. Hemp Building Association
  • Veterinary Cannabis Society
  • Virginia Hemp Coalition
  • Wisconsin Hemp Alliance

“We are deeply grateful to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree for her strong leadership in spearheading this legislation on behalf of hemp growers, processors, and consumers nationwide. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is proud to have led a broad-based industry effort to propose the policies that underlie this legislation and to have worked closely with Rep. Pingree’s excellent staff throughout the drafting process to ensure our concerns were taken into consideration. Rep. Pingree’s vision and tenacity will make a significant and meaningful difference for our emerging industry,” U.S. Hemp Roundtable said in a statement. 


Hemp, which is grown in every Maine county, can be used for a variety of products, including rope, textile, and paper. However, regulatory uncertainty around hemp production, hemp processing, and the sale of CBD products has created significant challenges for the industry in the state. While more than 2,000 acres of hemp were planted in Maine in 2019, only 111 farmers received licenses to grow hemp in 2020, accounting for just 211 acres. 

Pingree has long supported the nation’s hemp farmers and hemp-derived CBD businesses, which have been at the mercy of unclear federal regulations. Earlier this year, Pingree joined her colleagues in reintroducing the bipartisan Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act, legislation to provide a regulatory pathway for the legal sale of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), as dietary supplements. She led a bipartisan effort in September 2019 urging the Food and Drug Administration to establish a regulatory pathway for food products containing hemp-derived CBD. She also voted to pass the MORE Act in December 2020, which would decriminalize marijuana and remove federal obstacles for Maine’s burgeoning legal marijuana industry.



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