There were many speculations claiming CBD to be used as a therapeutic product. After considering all the research made and proven results, Hemp is now legal. Hemp is the cannabis plant through which is used to manufacture CBD products.
The highly anticipated Farm Bill has been passed finally with the voting of 87 to 13 in the Senate yesterday. Supposed to be passed almost every 5 years, the Farm Bill was delayed mainly due to the controversy that surrounded legalizing Hemp CBD. However, now these are over and the Farm Bill is in effect that legalizes the production and sale of Hemp CBD.
Now, some of you might be thinking that Hemp CBD was already legal and you could get it locally as well as through online stores. But, the production and sales of hemp have been historically prohibited under the federal drug laws that also ban the use of marijuana.
The hemp policy has changed drastically due to this new amendment in the Farm Bill. Earlier farmers were allowed to cultivate Hemp, now with the amendments now farmers can expand the cultivation and can sell Hemp-derived products across the state lines for commercial use. This does not mean that anyone can cultivate Hemp and sell commercially, the law has passed with certain restrictions.
The good news is that with the Farm Bill, Hemp CBD can now be produced and sold anywhere in the country but marijuana that contains more than 0.3% THC is still banned. Before looking at hemp legalization, let us first see what the Farm Bill is and who is influenced by it.
What are the Restrictions set by the US government under the Farm Bill?
- Only 0.3% THC is allowed in Hemp CBD products: First & foremost, as per section 10113 of the Farm Bill, only 0.3% THC should be present in Hemp CBD products. As the cannabis plant contains THC of more than 0.3% ( which is considered Marijuana ), the manufacturer has to regulate the percentage of THC in the products.
- There will be shared state-federal regulatory power over hemp cultivation and production. As per section 10113 of the Farm Bill, USDA will plan a regulatory plan for hemp cultivators in the states who want to apply for licenses. This system will be regulated by state & federal regulatory power.
- The third point highlights the law violating punishments. This law enables the cultivation & use of Hemp plants but it doesn’t legalize the free cultivation of hemp like the cultivation of fruits & vegetables.
The Farm Bill 2018
The Farm Bill 2018 is a massive 807-page bipartisan bill that contains collective planning of the food policy of the US for the next five years. This time the House and Senate have approved a budget of $867 billion, which is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump by the next week. It covers a plethora of programs that range from important initiatives like food assistance, farm subsidies, and crop insurance to rural development, forestry, and conservation programs. In short, the Farm Bill is an effective law that impacts all of us.
It is responsible for creating millions of jobs, reducing costs, and enhancing the availability of food. It also acts as a security measure for the future of farmers, families, and rural communities. The last Farm Bill expired on 1st October 2018. The bill was introduced earlier this year by McConnell (R-KY) with Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY).
One of the most complex, lengthiest yet the most important legislation of 2018, the Farm Bill deals with legislation for environmental protection, international trade, food safety, farm subsidies, and a lot more. However, the most talked-about aspect of this Farm bill was Hemp Legalization which has led to the removal of hemp from the list of controlled substances.
The problem will arise only if the particular crop contains more than 0.3% THC. The main architects behind hemp legalization are Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and Oregon Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. McConnell even used a pen made of hemp to sign the bill. Look at his tweet below.
He is right that farm income is down and growers are struggling. We also believe that industrial hemp holds hope for a secured future of agriculture in the US. The cultivation of hemp will be supervised and controlled by the USDA and state departments of agriculture once President Trump signs on it. Moreover, hemp farmers are now open to participate in programs and get help and subsidies regarding crop insurance, banking, and water rights.
What are the points that a Hemp Business owner has to consider?
Before making any conclusions about this Farm Bill, Business owners have to determine the following things :
1) Congress has allowed hemp cultivation but with some restrictions.
2) The commercial Hemp CBD products are only allowed when sold with medicinal & care intent.
3) This law restricts hemp CBD products shipped from outside the state.
4) Before selling the hemp CBD products, the products will be registered.
5) This law also ensures that manufacturers, distributors & retailers of Hemp CBD products all should be licensed.
6 ) This law also checks whether selling Hemp CBD products comes under their same regulatory body or not as Marijuana.
Other Highlights From The New Farm Bill
Apart from legalizing hemp, the Farm Bill has come with a plethora of other important provisions that will make the life of US citizens especially farmers better. Some of the key provisions that made it into the bill are permanent funding for veteran and minority farmers, the establishment of a new office at the Department of Agriculture to support and promote urban farming, funding for organic production, rural high-speed internet, and funding for specialty crop farmers. Not only these but the Farm Bill has also stripped the earlier provision to impose stricter work requirements on people who received food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
Hence, the Farm bill is extremely important and a big win for the farmers, ranchers, and rural population of the US. Everything is done now and all that remains is the signature of the president. We are really ecstatic about the Farm Bill and the potential it has to change the destiny of rural America. If you are too, then show your support in the comments section below.