June 10, 2024

Mary Miller Amendment Inclusion in FY 25 Agriculture/FDA Appropriation Bill

While we celebrate Governor Ron DeSantis’ veto last week of anti-hemp legislation in Florida (read our General Counsel’s statement here), we report more mischief from the halls of the US Congress. 

This evening, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) has included the now-infamous Mary Miller Amendment in the text of his subcommittee’s FY 25 Agriculture/FDA appropriations bill – legislation passed every year to fund farm programs. Now two bills that pend in Congress (the other, of course, is the House 2024 Farm Bill) include this hemp-killing language.

Statement from U.S. Hemp Roundtable Roundtable General Counsel, Jonathan Miller:

“It is deeply disappointing that Rep. Andy Harris has inserted the now-infamous, hemp-industry-destroying Mary Miller Amendment within the FY 25 Agriculture/FDA Appropriations bill – without any hearing, any consultation with US farmers or any vote from subcommittee members.  While states as politically diverse as Florida, Illinois and Louisiana have recently rejected monopolistic efforts to ban hemp products, a few conservative politicians have chosen to abandon conservative principles by turning their backs on farmers, veterans, and small businesses, and by rejecting states’ rights to regulate by forcing federal prohibitory preemption.  Contrary to advocate pronouncements that their goal is “to close the Delta-8 THC loophole,” the Mary Miller Amendment would ban 90-95% of all ingestible hemp products in the marketplace — including the vast majority of non-intoxicating, wellness-improving CBD supplements – while wreaking havoc for US hemp farmers, including fiber and grain, by redefining hemp in a matter that would make most crops non-compliant with a new THC standard.

Fortunately, there’s a long way to go before this ill-considered public policy could become law.  We will be asking the full Appropriations Committee to excise the Mary Miller Amendment from the final text. And of course, we will be fighting efforts on the House floor and in the Senate to include this hemp-killing language in any bill, be it appropriations or the Farm Bill. 

In the end, we are confident that once Members of Congress are briefed on the full implications of this effort, they will stand on the side of farmers, small businesses and veterans, and reject it.”

A subcommittee markup of this bill is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 6 PM, but there is only a small chance that there will be an effort to quash it there.  There may be a better opportunity at the full Appropriations Committee markup which could take place as early as next week.

Please note: It is not time to panic.  Chances that the full appropriations bill will pass the House before Election Day are quite small – and like the Farm Bill, there’s a decent chance no final votes will be taken until next year.  Fundamentally, we are quite confident that we will defeat all of these anti-hemp efforts before they become lawThe truth is on our side.

However, it is time for Hemp Supporters to take action.  Please use our online portal to send a message to your Members of Congress, urging them to help snuff out the Mary Miller Amendment in the appropriations committee, or eventually on the House floor.

And please share this message and call to action with your customers, friends, colleagues and social media contacts.