Farm Bill Allows Cultivation of Hemp & CBD

The Senate passed the 2018 Farm Bill 87-13 on Tuesday, a huge step towards legalizing hemp cultivation. The bill would remove industrial hemp from the federal government’s list of controlled substances and categorize it as an agricultural product. The bill would also allow CBD and other cannabinoid extraction.

The Hemp Farming Act was originally introduced by Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden before being included in the 2018 Farm Bill by Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Not only will farmers be able to grow, sell and export industrial hemp, it will also make it easier for researchers who want to study hemp oil products, CBD, and other cannabinoids. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will oversee hemp production, but states will be in charge of regulating and testing industrial hemp.

Any CBD extracted from hemp must be below 0.3 percent THC. Hemp producers whose plants exceed the THC threshold will not be subject to drug charges, but they must submit a plan to correct the “hot” hemp.

Legalizing hemp will open the door for banking, advertising, and insurance, access to which has long been a hurdle in the cannabis industry.

Other key elements of the bill include:

  • Allowing the sale and transportation of hemp and hemp-derived CBD across state lines.
  • Placing no restrictions on how hemp can be used, including for CBD and other cannabinoid extraction.
  • Hemp cultivation will be legal in all 50 states and overseen by the USDA; however, individual states will be the primary regulators. The USDA must consult with the U.S. attorney general before creating rules applicable to hemp production.
  • Unlike the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation will be allowed in U.S. territories and on Indian tribal land.
  • Hemp companies will be able to apply for patents, trademarks and other intellectual property protections under federal law.
  • Allowing access to federally-backed farm support programs like federal water access, crop insurance, and low-interest loans for new farmers.

The bill will need to pass in the House and be signed by President Trump before it becomes law.

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