The 2018 US Farm Bill has actually legalized industrial hemp. The so called hemp prohibition is coming to an end.
It’s the Christmas gift that the whole CBD industry has been waiting for. On Monday, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill after months of back-and-forth, and on Thursday, President Trump signed the 807-page and $867 billion farm bill into law.
While the bill has a lot of positive merits, the one individuals are perhaps most thrilled about is the fact that it will legalize the production, sale, and distribution of industrial hemp at a federal level.
Naturally, much of the push to legalize hemp is because it includes cannabidiol, or CBD for short. This is a compound with a host of purported health advantages, and without the psychedelic effects of its chemical relative, THC. The hemp market could be worth an impressive $22 billion by 2022, CNBC reported, and much of that worth will originate from the CBD market.
This could potentially affect everything from your shampoo to your skin care regimen because this bill sets the groundwork for CBD to enter the overall marketplace with a spotlight on it.
What is hemp, and why should you care?
What if there was:
– a home built stronger and at the same time would last longer
– clothing softer than any fabric you have ever felt before, and more long lasting than cotton
– a car built with something lighter than steel that might stand 10 times the impact without being dented
– biodegradable toys such as lego
Think of if you could conserve four acres of trees by making paper from a single acre of a rapid-growing plant, instead.
Hemp has so many uses, with many yet to be discovered or totally realized thanks to the absence of readily available research studies and funding. From textiles and plastics to livestock feed, hemp has numerous applications that can lower our reliance both on other countries and fossil fuels. Driven by explosive growth in hemp-based consumer items, the worldwide hemp market is anticipated to jump to well over $22 billion by 2022. Everything from our vodka to our vehicles is waiting to be re-imagined in the future with now legal hemp. So much of the populace won’t even understand just how much their lives could be affected by cannabis-based products.
One of the most exciting applications of hemp depends on the extracted cannabinoids or CBD oil. With the legalization of hemp, CBD can be regulated and investigated far more than before to genuinely understand the medical efficacy for a wide range of illness.
Now imagine all this possibility actually exists however you can’t benefit from any of it due to the fact that people in power can only see hemp’s cousin, marijuana. If you can wrap your mind around this bizarre reasoning, then and only then will you begin to see the ridiculous policies America’s had in place that have kept hemp from benefiting so many people.
This outdated mentally has actually been very costly. The US hemp restrictions have suppressed potential jobs for farmers, items for customers, and potential medicine for patients.
Hemp is a rewarding cash crop for today’s suffering farmers, with some early business growers reporting $100 per-acre more profit on hemp than canola. Hemp grown for CBD oil, on the other hand, can take in $8,000 per acre versus $600 per acre for corn.
Hemp can be grown from planting to harvest on about half as much water as corn can. Hemp also endures a wide array of soils and temperatures, needs no pesticides, and grows extremely quick, skyrocketing to as much as 20 feet in 90 days.
Therefore, if hemp ultimately replaces other crops across large acreages, it will free valuable water resources for other usages.
Hemp is therefore profitable and sustainable, 2 words which have eluded lots of U.S. farmers lately. Hemp cultivation could supply much-needed relief as farmers struggle to find markets for millions of bushels of crops during the trade wars. Now, rather than importing an estimated $100 million of hemp products year after year, that money will now go to American farmers and business owners, which is huge win for the economy.
The 2018 Farm Bill: How did we get here?
Way back when, a lobby-influenced and angry Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which outlawed the ownership of cannabis, including hemp. This was after centuries of growth and usage from the time of British colonization onward. Pure propaganda at it’s best (or worst).
The 1970 Controlled Substances Act categorized both hemp and cannabis as Schedule I drugs, or compounds with “no presently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
Every five years or so, the farm bill which is a massive piece of legislation gets an upgrade, basically setting the tone for agricultural policy in the half-decade that follows. This year, in between information about farmer’s market financing and food stamps, there are also some significant brand-new mandates around hemp cultivation.
After 81 years, the 2018 Farm Bill represents the largest action towards undoing the racist and scientifically-baseless legacy of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. This is a huge win for the industry and has farmers and businesses very excited.
The 2018 Farm Bill formally reclassifies hemp for commercial uses after years of statutes and legal enforcement conflating hemp and marijuana, the Farm Bill compares the two by eliminating hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. (While the 2 are both part of the cannabis family, hemp lacks the high concentration of THC that is accountable for the high from smoking marijuana.) This would efficiently move regulation and enforcement of the crop from the purview of the DEA to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Keep in mind: The farm bill does not legalize the development and sale of cannabis on a federal level. While marijuana also includes CBD, the majority of the plant likewise contain THC, which the federal government still has a major concern with. If your CBD is stemmed from cannabis and not hemp, it will still fall within Schedule I of the Illegal Drug Act, indicating it will not be legal federally.
The 2018 Farm Bill improves on the 2014 version of the bill, which developed Hemp Pilot Programs. These Hemp Pilot Programs “produced a structure for the legal growing by states of ‘commercial hemp’ without an authorization from the DEA.” The 2014 Hemp Pilot Programs were a success for farmers and consumers throughout the U.S., from Colorado to North Carolina.
Getting the federal government onboard with CBD was quite the task
CBD is a cannabis-derived substance that according to mountains of anecdotal evidence and some clinical research, can aid with everything from basic pains to more serious common ailments. There are peer-reviewed research studies on the impacts of CBD on the body, but this year, the Food and Drug Administration made history by approving a drug containing CBD to treat two unusual and extreme forms of epilepsy.
“Our biggest difficulty to legislating hemp was the popular confusion with cannabis,” Jonathan Miller, legal counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, said. “The biggest difficulty with CBD was that it was introduced openly as a medical marijuana item. While now a bulk of Americans support legalizing pot, it’s not the prevailing view in Congress. We needed to demonstrate the distinction between hemp and marijuana, and explain that hemp-derived CBD can not get you high, but most importantly, that hemp could be a remarkable cash crop for American farmers having a hard time in the heartland.”
The farm bill does NOT suggest CBD will instantly flood into stores throughout the country.
While hemp-derived CBD is now off the list of Schedule I managed compounds, it will still go through policy from the FDA.
The Farm Bill benefits entrepreneurs and hemp farmers alike
The 2018 Farm Bill will radically revamp America’s relation to hemp and might let loose a hemp renaissance in the coming years that will close the gap in between the U.S. and China. As a Schedule 1 compound along with weed, hemp farmers and CBD entrepreneurs in the U.S. have faced lots of barriers. Interstate commerce for hemp items was nearly non-existent and funding was tough to come by. All that is set to change.
According to the American Agriculturist, the 2018 Farm Bill will permit hemp to be regulated by the USDA, including the labeling of American-grown hemp as licensed organic; interstate hemp commerce will be legalized; financing and research study opportunities will open up; hemp farmers will be guaranteed water rights; the definition of hemp will be changed to make it a non-drug commodity.
What the new farm bill says about hemp
First off, it’s crucial to identify industrial hemp, the plant that’s dealt with in the Farm Bill, from the one we generally refer to as marijuana. Although both are varieties of the cannabis sativa plant, industrial hemp is categorized by law as consisting of less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive compound THC. It will not make you high. Marijuana, on the other hand, has 0.3 percent THC or more.
In the 2014 Farm Bill, particular farmers were authorized to cultivate industrial hemp as part of a pilot program, one with a lot of rules and limitations on how much hemp could be cultivated and why. That becomes part of the reason we have actually started to see many CBD products go into the market over the past number of years.
This year’s Farm Bill, however, brings that pilot phase to an end, enabling certified farmers nationwide to grow commercial hemp more freely. It also eliminates industrial hemp from the illegal schedule 1 drugs list, putting it the very same category as any other industrial crop, also known as an “agricultural commodity”. Plus, there are no constraints around selling, possessing, or transporting industrial hemp throughout state lines (or any items made from it) as long as it’s cultivated in line with the law.
Are all CBD products are legal now?
Well, no. Remember the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana? While CBD items produced from hemp are no longer thought to be Schedule I substances, CBD products that originate from marijuana plants with more than 0.3 percent THC are still federally prohibited.
What does this all indicate for the future of CBD?
Clearly, there are still a great deal of uncertainty swirling around the CBD landscape. In general, professionals are hopeful that the Farm Bill will help with taking CBD to the next level of legitimacy. There’s still a great deal of confusion around CBD, and the Farm Bill adds an additional layer of clarification.
The Farm Bill is a crucial and huge step, but there’s certainly a long road ahead to having actually significant policy in this industry. There’s likewise a major requirement for guidelines around security, quality, and consistency in CBD products, things that the Farm Bill does not directly talk about.
When interviewed previously this year, marijuana industry lawyer Daniel Shortt concurred with this sentiment. “It is essential to understand what’s in your CBD and what extraction technique is being used,” he says. This raises a valid point about the necessity of companies having third party lab results to validate the contents listed in the product.
Hemp CBD beyond 2018
According to The Brightfield Group, an intelligence service provider of the Cannabis and CBD markets, you’ll probably be seeing a great deal more CBD-infused products in stores, including topicals and skincare items such as body butter.
Things will only continue to grow at an incredible rate. The Brightfield group have also estimated that the CBD industry will grow to $22 Billion by 2022 creating a massive opportunity for those willing to seize it.
If you are one of those people but don’t have the massive capital needed to go the traditional route, then check out how we recommend people get involved with a hemp derived CBD business here.