Damn the Torpedoes, Hemp Unite!

Corporate Marijuana Monopolists Just Showed Their Hand. Time to Fight Back.

As everyone reading this article likely knows, the Miller Amendment unexpectedly passed a bloc vote in the US House Committee on Agriculture on Thursday. In a last minute turn of events, Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson ordered an “en bloc” vote of all amendments, rather than voting on them individually. This was presumably done because he knew that he did not have enough votes to pass the Miller Amendment on its own. Unfortunately, the tactic worked. This is especially frustrating given that the Chairman has previously expressed interest in retaining the current definition of “hemp” for the next farm bill. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Miller Amendment was specifically designed to kill the hemp cannabinoid industry. This is because the Miller Amendment:

  • Changes the definition of “hemp” so that total THC must not exceed 0.3%.
  • Expressly excludes viable seeds from a marijuana plant from the definition of “hemp”, even though they contain almost no THC and the DEA itself considers them to be hemp.
  • Expressly excludes cannabinoids that the plant produces but which are synthesized or manufactured outside the plant from the definition of “hemp”, even if they are produced using cGMP or other internationally accepted quality control standards and are identical to the naturally occurring ones.
  • Expressly excludes “quantifiable amounts” of THC, including THCa, and “any other cannabinoids that have similar effects (or which are marketed to have similar effects) on humans or animals as THC” from the definition of “hemp”.

Taken together, these provisions of the Miller Amendment strike a deadly blow to the entire hemp cannabinoid industry. If enacted into law, the hemp industry as we know it will no longer exist. If you read the provisions carefully, it should be clear that the Miller Amendment was not written by a hack or even someone who is simply concerned about so-called “intoxicating cannabinoids”. This amendment was written by insiders with a very specific agenda. Presently, the author is not known to me, but this policy has been the subject of a major lobbying push by a select group of Big Marijuana organizations to erase the hemp industry. 

As reported by Chris Roberts in MJBizDaily

“The U.S. Cannabis Council – members of which include many multistate marijuana operators – circulated a letter asking lawmakers to exclude from the new Farm Bill any hemp-derived product with “detectable quantities of total THC and any other intoxicant that can be derived from hemp including other forms of THC.” (emphasis added)

In case you’re wondering, the US Cannabis Council includes the following companies, individuals, and organizations:

Acting Chair
Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs
Pete Meachum, Cronos Group
Bryan Barash, Dutchie
Chairs Emeritus-
Jessica Billingsley, Akerna
Nirup Krishnamurthy, Schwazze
Christian Sederberg, Vicente LLP

Board Members-

  • Mike Forenza
  • Michael Bronstein
  • David Goubert
  • Adam Goers
  • David Klein
  • Eyad Aboabdo
  • Charlie Bachtell
  • Pete Meachum
  • Matt Darin
  • Bryan Barash
  • Rebecca Brown
  • Nico Pento
  • Jeremy Unruh
  • Dan Pabon
  • Brian Herrington
  • James A. Leventis, Esq.
  • Shawn Hauser

Member Companies / Organizations-

  • AE Global
  • AYR Wellness
  • The Cannabist Company
  • Canopy Growth
  • Chubby Gorilla
  • Cresco Labs
  • Cronos Group
  • Curaleaf
  • Dutchie
  • Elevate Cannabis
  • Green Thumb Industries
  • PharmaCann
  • Schwazze
  • ScottsMiracle-Gro
  • Verano
  • Vicente LLP


The US Cannabis Council is not the only villain in the war against hemp, but its members include some of the worst actors. It and its members actively advocate for cannabis policy that:

  • promotes the interests of a small handful of large corporate marijuana companies (ie, marijuana monopolists) over the interests of small businesses;
  • advocates for limited licensure and vertical integration;
  • uses repurposed “Reefer Madness” fear mongering tactics about cannabis intoxication to further its cause; and
  • has initiated a “total war” against hemp with the express goal of completely destroying the hemp cannabinoid industry in what amounts to a bloody turf war.

For anyone who did not previously believe that last point about Big Marijuana’s “total war” against hemp or who has ever asked “why can’t we all just get along“, today’s Congressional shenanigans should be ample proof of Big Marijuana’s end-goal of completely eradicating the hemp industry. The Big Marijuana lobby and the monopolistic corporations it serves are willing to resort to backhanded political tactics and otherwise go the distance to take over the cannabis industry to the complete exclusion of the hemp sector. It is time to unite and fight back. This is our rallying cry: Hemp is Cannabis. What is good for the hemp industry is good for the cannabis industry. 

As I discussed in a recent keynote speech at Noco, the hemp industry is emerging as the paradigm for the future of cannabis. By defeating the Big Marijuana Monopolists and promoting reasonable laws/regulations such as the Three Pillar Approach (see below), we have an opportunity to rewrite the cannabis story and to create an industry where small businesses and farmers can thrive and consumers have access to a wide array of safe cannabis products through a variety of distribution channels. Rather than focusing on cannabis intoxication, vertical integration, expensive licensing, prohibiting homegrow, a zero-sum turf war, or any other such nonsense, the Three Pillars Approach addresses three reasonable regulatory “zones” for consumer safety and a healthy industry: (1) age gating, (2) quality control for production and manufacturing, and (3) standardized and informative labeling and marketing. Read/listen to more on the Three Pillars here. I welcome your input.

Fortunately, a lot of marijuana companies are beginning to see the “hemp light”. I regularly receive calls from marijuana companies who have decided to pivot to the hemp industry as the path forward for their businesses. They see hemp as a common sense solution, not a “loophole”, and want assistance making the journey. Hemp is the great uniter and we welcome anyone who believes in fair play, reasonable regulations, and a healthy cannabis economy. 

Here are some suggestions on how to join the fight and help hemp win the war against oppressive monopolistic interests:

  • Call your federal lawmakers today and let them know that you support hemp. Tell them to “Vote No” to the Miller Amendment and to retain the current definition of hemp.
  • Support the organizations that are fighting for hemp with your donations: the American Healthy Alternatives Association, the Hemp Roundtable, the Midwest Hemp Council, and the Hemp Industries Association. These organizations are leading the fight against a well-funded greed machine and they cannot do it without your support. If you want the hemp industry to survive then donate money to these organizations today! Don’t screw around. Do it now. 
  • Call “bullshit” on the organizations that purport to be pro-cannabis but advocate against hemp. Hemp is cannabis and these organizations are working against your interests. Inform and educate your friends, colleagues, customers, competition, lawmakers, lobbyists, news media, and anyone else who has any interest in cannabis that there is a war raging against hemp that will impact the future of cannabis. NOW IS THE TIME!
  • Stay up to date on news about the farm bill and state-level bills that deal with hemp. We are in a critical time for the industry and things are moving very rapidly. You owe it to yourself and to the industry to stay informed.
  • Finally, set aside differences with your competition and focus instead on creating a united hemp industry that is dedicated to a positive future for cannabis. If we win there will be plenty of time to compete, but if we lose there will no industry.

The future of cannabis will be determined by what is happening right now. Act accordingly.

May 24, 2024


Rod Kight is an international cannabis lawyer. He represents businesses throughout the cannabis industry. Additionally, Rod speaks at cannabis conferences, drafts and presents legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and is the editor of the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, which discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him by clicking here



13 comments on “Damn the Torpedoes, Hemp Unite!Add yours →

  1. Well put Rod! It is time to unite behind American Healthy Alternatives Association (national and state groups), Hemp Industries Association, and US Hemp Roundtable. We are members of all three. Time to rally the troops FOR REAL this time! Get your customers involved too!

    1. Thanks, John! Yes, it is time for everyone in the hemp industry- from farmers to processors to manufactures to distributors to consumers- to step up and get active to save the industry. These organizations have a proven track record and will benefit from financial and other assistance.


  2. Thank you for the information. I reached out to my congressman, and I have sold any stock investments of companies that are affiliated with the USCC.

  3. I made a donation to the Hemp Industries Association, and left a note that it’s to help their fight for the 2024 Farm Bill. The HIA is the organization I trust the most based on their consistent stance in favor of all uses of the plant.

  4. Hey Rod!

    Love the piece – I wrote something similar immediately after hearing the sad, sad news – I will add the link below.

    Question – anyway to collab more in some way in this fight with you? We are the largest help derived dispensary in the nation…I will attach the link to the blog I wrote on this topic; which is also our website for you to learn more.

    Thank you for your efforts and consideration!

  5. The Marijuana Industry infiltrated the Illinois legislation that I worked on in 2018. They lobbied to include language which has never been seen prior (nor since) where they cleverly never referred to cannabinoids nor CBD, rather that hemp grown or processed in Illinois would be allowed only if such products produced were legal to import into the United States.

    At that time it was quasi-legal to import CBD into the US. Many had done so prior, but DEA and US Customs and Border Control stated that CBD was legal if it was derived from stalks and stems, but not from flowers. The European suppliers stated that their CBD was coming from only stalks and stems, but this was obviously not true.

    The point being is that it was quasi-legal to import CBD into the US at the time of that legislation, and the marijuana industry within Illinois was working to keep it out. In addition, they lobbied for certified seed only to be used by farmers.

    I contacted the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) as even being on the board of HIA was of little help. I spoke with the top two people who lobby for IFB. They did not “read between the lines” as I had what this legislation would do. However, after learning this they stated that if they tried to change it, it would “open a can of worms.” They continued that “the other side” (the Marijuana Industry) is fine with this bill the way it is, and continued to state that this bill is good for fiber and grain; CBD can wait for the next round of legislation.

    State Senator Toi Hutchinson refused to respond to any of my calls or emails about this legislation. She was in with State Representative Kelly Cassidy. Therefore, I asked my State Senator Dave Koehler to contact her. He did. Just outside the Hearing for this bill my senator told me to my face that there was nothing he could do. This was her bill, and if I want her to make changes, I have to ask her. He can’t do anything.

    During the Hearing — for which Senator Hutchinson was not present — I was asked if I was for or against the bill. I stated that if the language were changed as per my suggestions, then I would be for it. I was told that Senator Hutchinson was going to change it, and therefore once more, was I for or against it. I responded that if changes were made I would be for it. The bill passed and was never changed.

    Senator Toi Hutchinson has since left public office and works for the Marijuana Industry!

    People need to read between the lines, so I will say it here loud and clear. Please read what this Amendment does. Take note of the following statement made:

    • Expressly excludes cannabinoids that the plant produces but which are synthesized or manufactured outside the plant from the definition of “hemp”, even if they are produced using cGMP or other internationally accepted quality control standards and are identical to the naturally occurring ones.

    Now take into consideration that Amyris.com has the ability to produce CBG — and therefore ALL cannabinoids — without the need for a hemp (or cannabis) plant!

    “Using biotechnology and sugarcane fermentation, Amyris produces clean CBG, without the hemp plant. This process guarantees no THC in the final product and therefore, carries no regulatory risk or challenges related to THC. Additionally, the entire process ensures environmental and social responsibility, starting with its Bonsucro-certified sugarcane feedstock in the fermentation process.”

    My company continues its work on a lignocellulosic biorefinery. However, for well over a year now the focus can no longer be on using solely hemp to accomplish this goal. The Marijuana Industry continues to plague the hemp industry — and there are several wolves in sheep’s clothing who are doing this behind closed doors!

    Some have misinterpreted my negative comments towards the Marijuana Industry and being anti-marijuana — which is not the same. The plant and industry are two separate things, just as I have always separated hemp from marijuana as being two important things that each deserve their own platforms as each have a plethora of important issues in their own right.

    As for Mary Miller’s Amendment, it needs to be abolished!

    1. Thanks for your strong advocacy, Eric. Fortunately, the most recent IL anti-hemp bill did not pass this session. -Rod

  6. Rod, I told you this was coming back in 2010, but you paid no attention. The Hemp Round Table, the HIA….all of them….were never working for the hemp industry. You think Joy Beckerman wasn’t part of this? Or her buddies, Courtney Moran and Andrea Hermann? You can go back to the emails I sent you, and my many public postings, and you’ll find out exactly when and where this effort to kill off the hemp industry started….and who was behind it. I told you that story, but to no avail.

    So let me tell you how this story ends….and that end in nearer than anyone expects. This was never about “legalizing cannabis”, or hemp…..this was the retaliatory counter-attack by George Soros, and his Globalist and Big Pharma buddies, to stop the rapid spread of medical cannabis laws popping up all over the country.

    He couldn’t very well do that on his own, so he bought off all the greed-heads in the “cannabis legalization industry” (2010)….and those whores jumped on it like Joe Biden at little girl’s hair sniffing contest. NORML, MPP, Americans for Safe Access, and the Drug Policy Alliance, who was in charge of spreading the Soror cash around, were all so greedy, and so broke, they all jumped at opportunity to sell out the medical cannabis users that kept them in business for decades. What did they care…coke was always their favorite drug? I’m writing a book and I’ll name them all. They certainly deserve to finally have the truth come out.

    The plan was to kill off medical cannabis utilizing Soros’ newly minted, and Soros funded, Marijuana Entrepreneurs. He even paid for their lobbyists. Step two was to convince them to go after the hemp industry. More specifically, he enticed them with the prospect of stealing away the lucrative hemp CBD industry that these entrepreneurs coveted. Soros even funded the fake hemp industry groups who worked to stifle the US hemp industry.

    And that’s where we are today….and I told you this was their plan, Rod. But you either couldn’t, or didn’t want, to believe me.

    So let me tell you how this story ends, though I’m sure that you, and the marijuana sell-outs, won’t want to believe this either. Once they’ve completed in killing off the hemp industry, next on their list will be the rest of the cannabis industry. Big Pharma fought hard, and spent billions to make, and keep, cannabis illegal for almost a century, and they paid to make sure it was a global ban.

    What in the world made all of you believe that they were just planning on simply giving up the one thing they fought so aggressively to own for themselves, and spend so much money to control, for more than eight decades? Do Soros and the criminals in the global Big Pharma monopoly strike you as the kind of people who would willingly give up control of anything they fought to control for that long?

    These global elitists are now looking at the biggest prize of all. These globalists are planning to take over the world. Or so they think. They want to turn you into slaves, surviving on Bill Gates’ bug-burgers, while putting the world’s farmers out of business. What in the world makes you think they’re going to let you have cannabis to enjoy with your bugs? Not a chance in hell.

    I’ve lived to see the legalization, in one form or another, of both cannabis and hemp. I worked to see that goal for nearly sixty years. I was proud to have passed the first law removing hemp from a state Controlled Substances Act. And now, sadly, I’m going to live to see the same evil globalists who made it illegal in the first place, take it all back again. And they couldn’t have done it without the cannabis industry. The entire cannabis industry, and everyone involved with it, should truly be ashamed of themselves. And now they’ll pay the price for their own greedy complicity.

    Steve Sarich
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
    June 6, 2024

    1. Note to readers: Hemp was not legalized until 2014 with passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 and the creation of “industrial hemp” pilot programs. I have communicated with Mr. Sarich in the past, but it was first in 2019, not in 2010 as he indicated.

      Note to Steve: Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. I am pleased to see that you are still an outspoken advocate, but I don’t buy into global conspiracy theories. They undermine attempts to create a legitimate cannabis industry founded on fact-based evidence and distract from concerns about lobbying efforts by vested cannabis interests to destroy the hemp industry and the alternative path to cannabis legalization that it represents.


      1. I was communicated with you when I was living in the US, so we were communicating before that, and I’ve been predicting this outcome ever since 2010….which was years before I was even aware of you jumping into the cannabis industry.

        It was 2014 when passed my bill removing hemp from the Washington State Controlled Substances Act….the first bill of its’ kind in the US. There were only TWO people that testified against this “first ever” hemp legislation in both the Washington State Senate and the State House. Guess who that might be? That was Joy Beckerman, who was still an exec with the HIA! The other was the state rep for NORML.

        Their argument was that if the legislature legalized hemp on a state basis, it might anger the DEA and that they’d start raiding the newly legal recreational pot stores in Washington. This was the first time that Joy and NORML started lobbying AGAINST the hemp industry. We KNOW the NORML was being paid to do this, and this was the first indication that Beckerman has been working against medical and hemp since 2009-2010.

        You don’t believe that in conspiracies like how the language that was placed in the 2018 Farm Bill, the one that the USDA used to destroy thousands of acres of completely legal hemp…..because it somehow created something called “Total THC”? Or was that just a simple mistake by the drafters of the Farm Bill? By the way, why didn’t you sue the USDA? They were the ones that gave unofficial authorization to the state departments of Ag to burn these completely legal crops, all based on this made up “Total THC” law that didn’t exist anywhere! Why didn’t you and the other hemp attorneys sue the states that illegally burned these crops?

        I told you that I had all the evidence to prove that the crops burned were legal, and that the USDA and the state departments of Ag, KNEW it wasn’t legal. I had the actual communications proving that they colluded in these felonies. So was it really just a “conspiracy theory”, Rod? Were those crops legal or not, Rod? It was simple enough to prove! Under the Federal Timber Trespass Act, these hemp farmers were entitled to treble damages. Instead, they lost their crops and some lost their farms. But that was the plan.

        So whose side were YOU on? Because everyone had a side in this, and if lawyers were already hauling in money from the new Soros funded recreational pot industry moguls, we KNOW what side they were on. There are still only two sides in this fight…..and we know whose putting up all the money for the winning side….don’t we, Rod?

        And you don’t believe in global conspiracies theories? What….like Covid? I sincerely hope you weren’t brainwashed into getting jabbed with a bioweapon that was never FDA approved and was never capable of protecting you from “covid”, nor from transmitting it”.

        Millions have already died, and that’s only the beginning. And now we that we were all lied to. We should all know that no one should never again get their health information from the globalists, the governments, or the medical and pharmaceutical industries, and most of all, from the mainstream media….that was bought off by Big Pharma. They were responsible for the largest medical genocide in recorded history. If you believe that this was just another conspiracy theory, I am truly sad for you and your family. I know that I’ve already lost many friends to this poison.

        If we’ve learned anything in the last five years, it’s that all of the, so called “conspiracy theories” are coming true, right before our eyes. We should have learned that we are the ones responsible for out own health and freedoms. And if you give up your rights to make those decisions for yourself, it won’t be long before you lose the rest of them as well.

        Steve Sarich

        1. We first communicated in early 2019- I checked my records. Speaking of records, my record on advocacy for the cannabis plant, small businesses, and consumers stands for itself. As for the rest, that’s beyond the scope of this blog. Suffice it to say that I don’t promote global conspiracy theories.

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