The USDA told hemp producers that it could not change the rules that set the allowable limit of THC in their product.
While the agency can, and is open to changing other aspects of the 2018 Farm Bill that made non-intoxicating cultivars of hemp legal to grow in the US, it cannot change the allowable level of THC because that part of the bill is statutory and can only be changed by Congress.
The 2018 Farm Bill, although it did not “legalize” CBD, opened the window enough to see the market of CBD oil and products explode in ensuing years. Though hemp had historically been an industrial crop in the US, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively destroyed the hemp industry. While industrial hemp continued to be cultivated and used for industrial products such as rope and canvas, most notably in WWII hemp was used extensively for uniforms, tarps, and rope, the scale was limited.
One tweak the USDA has agreed to visit is allowing industrial hemp growers to re-purpose “hot” hemp – hemp that tests higher than the allowable 0.3% THC – rather than destroy it.