The Hemp Farming Bill of 2018 Passes
The United States addresses agricultural and food policy through a variety of programs, including nutrition assistance, crop insurance, commodity support, and conservation. Much of the legal framework for agricultural and food policy is set through a legislative process that occurs approximately every 5 years. In 2018, the farming bill that passed finally legalized industrial hemp.
No Longer a Controlled Substances
We're excited at the news! President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law on December 20th. The $867 billion farm bill redefines hemp as an agricultural good, removing it from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Which thankfully, also removes it from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act. This monumental step has everyone in the hemp industry excited about cannabis reform.
Returning Control to Local Governments
The bill gives control to the states and tribal governments in choosing restrictions and requirements. More importantly, companies and community members can now work with federally agencies that were not available to the industry before. Organizations like banks, credit card companies, advertisers and merchant services are now free game. The new bill will allow farmers to get to insurance for their hemp crops and participate in USDA programs for grants and certifications. The bill also legalizes transportation of hemp and hemp products across all 50 states.
Clarifying the Meaning of Hemp
Hemp is specifically defined in this bill as “delta-9 tetra-hydro-cannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3%, including the plant's viable seeds, extracts, and derivatives” on a dry-weight basis, growing or not. This does not fully legalize all kinds and forms of cannabis. It legalizes strains with low THC, which are plants important for many uses in the industry. From paper to rope to protein and CBD, hemp has many valuable uses in the American market.
Hemp for Victory
With the rise in popularity of cannabis and CBD oil, hemp has slowly been working its way into the spotlight. Studies are finding medical uses and nutritional value in hemp products. Hemp has long been used for practical items. The US government even promoted hemp growth for industrial uses with a propaganda film during WWII (called “Hemp for Victory”). Then later tried to scrub the films from the records. Farmers and companies that have been working to bring CBD to the marketplace. They were facing various risks without the federal legalization of hemp sales. There are still many unknown questions about labeling requirements, trademark protections, product liability, entering the international market and more.
Hemp Market Growth
Currently, the United States is the largest importer of hemp goods, with a 2017 market generating over $820 million in sales. The hemp market is expected to skyrocket to $1.9 billion by 2022. A 2014 Farm Bill pilot program allowed farmers to legally grow hemp on US soil, with plot size doubling from 2016 to 2017. The newest estimates suggest growth as high as $25 Billion by 2025.
CBD and Hemp Extract Companies
"After decades of commitment and hard work by revolutionary pioneers and advocates, legalization of the extraordinarily versatile hemp crop as an agricultural commodity is finally upon us. From dense nutrition, body care, and wellness, to paper, textiles, building materials, bioplastics, biofuel, and nanotechnology, hemp has arrived to reinvigorate American farms."
Joy Beckerman, Hemp Industries Association Board President
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