The U.S. Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the Farm Bill, has been signed by President Trump, which means the cultivation of industrial hemp and hemp derived products, such as CBD have been legalized federally in the United States.
The $867 billion Farm Bill is a massive piece of legislation that is renewed once every five years, and has significant economic and social implications for Americans and international trade.
The 2018 Farm Bill contained a substantial provision that has removed hemp from the List of Schedule 1 Drugs (as defined by the United States Controlled Substances Act), which now makes industrial hemp an ordinary agricultural commodity.
Industrial hemp, which can now operate in a new legal framework, is a game changer for the industry, as it is likely to spur massive economic activity from this new agricultural commodity – such as hemp derived fibers, seeds and cannabidiol (CBD) oils.
CBD, which is defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is growing in popularity within wellness and health communities due to its therapeutic properties.
The 2018 Farm Bill does not affect the FDA’s authority to regulate CBD and hemp products. The FDA has not announced details surrounding any new regulatory framework that will govern hemp derived CBD in the United States, as of yet.
Frank Lane, President of CFN Media said, “The Farm Bill will effectively declassify hemp-derived CBD as a controlled substance, which removes uncertainty for producers, distributors, and marketers of cannabidiol (CBD) throughout the U.S. As the market is predicted to grow to $22 billion, businesses that had been waiting for more clarity — particularly those in the health and wellness space — will be free and emboldened to launch their products.”
The Farm Bill passed the Senate by a vote of 87 to 13 on December 11, 2018.
On the next day, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the $867 billion 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 369 to 47.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced the hemp legislation and advocated for it to be included in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“At a time when farm income is down and growers are struggling, industrial hemp is a bright spot of agriculture’s future,” McConnell said in a tweet. “My provision in the farm bill will not only legalize domestic hemp, but it will also allow state departments of agriculture to be responsible for its oversight.”
The legalization of industrial hemp will now allow farmers to grow, process, sell and export hemp for the first time, since its ban in 1970.
Bethany Gomez, Director of Research for Brightfield Group said the following:
“This is a watershed moment for CBD in the United States. With hemp and all of its derivatives officially removed from the Controlled Substances Act, CBD moves from a legal gray area into the light. That legal gray area has kept the industry small and fragmented. This shift will allow for CBD to make its way to the shelves of larger scale, mainstream distribution channels and pave the way for the large mainstream consumer packaged goods companies in industries like drinks, beauty, pet, skin care and tobacco to develop CBD products and capitalize on this emerging industry. Even while operating in a legal gray area with minimal marketing budgets, limited distribution channels, and only small brands, CBD has catapulted to the national stage this year, growing by more than 80 percent to reach $590 million. Now that the Farm Bill has gone through, we expect the US market for CBD to hit $22 billion by 2022.”
By Marijuana.Ca Staff