Hemp To Be Legalized By 2018 Farm Bill

By the time you read this, it’s entirely possible that the 2018 Farm Bill will have just passed.

That’s notable for several reasons, none more so than the provision which would legalize hemp production. This would then radically change the landscape for CBD extracted from hemp, which is the source of the vast majority of CBD with a low enough THC content—.3 percent or less—to ship out of state.

This is all achieved by removing industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, something that, much like me at a Disney on Ice performance, never belonged in the first place.

Per Cannabis Business Times, the National Conference of State Legislatures has determined that 40 US states allow the “cultivation of hemp for commercial, research, or pilot programs.”

Passage of the bill would place oversight of domestic hemp production under each state’s Department of Agriculture.

In 2018, hemp-derived CBD rose 80 percent to $590 million in sales. Legalizing domestic hemp production could increase the hemp-derived CBD market substantially, with a recent report predicting $22 billion by 2022.

This is an important step, but before you start ripping out your backyard rose bushes and tearing up your front lawn to plant some of them newly legal “money tree” plants, understand this isn’t yet a free-for-all to place CBD into anything and everything.

As Cannabis Business Times reminds us:

“Although the Farm Bill will be a monumental step forward for hemp and hemp-derived CBD, the FDA has ruled that CBD is not an approved food ingredient, food additive or dietary supplement, which may limit the scope of the legislation, according to Richard Huang, CEO of vape producer Cloudious 9.

Officially, the U.S FDA allows only the fiber and oil from hemp seeds to be used in food products. In fact, the California Department of Public Health issued a new state policy in July that prohibits hemp-derived CBD in food products, aligning with the FDA’s stance.”

But when it does pass, we are one step closer to normalization of a tall plant capable of producing CBD along with 20,000-plus other industrial products, not to mention the farming, processing and distribution jobs created in doing so.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies OregonCannabisConcierge.com and CaliforniaCannabisConcierge.com. His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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