What The 2018 Farm Bill Means For Hemp and CBD

In December, Congress agreed to the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill and the President signed the legislation shortly after. One of the more interesting aspects of this bill is the making of Hemp federally legal — the Farm Bill allows hemp to be cultivated and sold. To be clear, hemp is part of the cannabis plant and by rule is considered to have less than 0.3 percent of THC. Anything above this threshold will not be protected by law. The Farm Bill ensures that any cannabinoid that is derived from hemp will be legal — if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with Farm Bill and all current regulations.

What Does The Farm Bill Say?

  • The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant with a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent by dry weight. This definition is consistent with the definition of “industrial hemp” in the 2014 version bill, which created a limited agricultural pilot program regarding research into industrial hemp.
  • The 2018 Farm Bill removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, paving the way for the wholly legal cultivation, possession, sale and distribution of the hemp plant.
  • The 2018 Farm Bill delegates to states and Indian tribes the broad authority to regulate and limit the production and sale of hemp and hemp products within their borders. States and Indian tribes cannot, however, limit the transportation or shipment of hemp and hemp products through their respective jurisdictions.

Moving Forward

Hemp producers and businesses will now be able to conduct business as normal without worries of being shut down or prosecuted. Following the passage of the Farm Bill, these businesses will be incentivized to use hemp as their primary source of CBD, which will help fuel the hemp and CBD industry to a billion dollar industry by 2020. This is all good news for the consumer who wants to use or try various products infused with CBD. Consumers should expect to see more products on retail shelves but will still need to do their due diligence to ensure their product choice and producer are legal and legitimate.

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