A Significant Event in 2018 by Mitch Santell
To all of our dear followers and listeners here at Big Reggae Mix. Our team feels like a kid in a candy store because making Industrial Hemp Legal, is probably the single biggest event in the USA in 2018.
2018 Farm Bill Legalizes Industrial Hemp
Passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly known as the “Farm Bill") into law on Thursday, December 20, 2018 is anticipated to encourage rapid growth in the burgeoning U.S. hemp industry. The $867 billion Farm Bill legalizes industrial hemp, a boon for cannabidiol, or CBD oil. Under the Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will regulate hemp, which will no longer be considered a controlled substance under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The Bill will go into effect January 1, 2019.
Industrial hemp is considered any part of the cannabis plant with no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabibol (THC) on a dry weight basis. Farm Bill Sec. 10113 (amending 7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.). Section 12619 of the Farm Bill formally removes hemp-derived products from Schedule I status under the Controlled Substances Act, although it does not legalize CBD more broadly. The Farm Bill authorizes CBD only to the extent that it is contained in hemp produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill and other federal and state regulations.
Under prior federal law, industrial hemp could only be legally produced if grown or cultivated for purposes of research and allowed under state law. The Farm Bill is expected to lead to major growth in the cannabis industry at a national level. The Farm Bill allows states to become the primary regulators of hemp cultivation while enabling researchers to apply for federal grants and making the crop eligible for federal crop insurance. Id. § 7605(a); 10113.
The Farm Bill creates guidelines by which tribes and states can take primary regulatory authority over the production of hemp, requiring a plan to be submitted to USDA. Id. § 10113. It also amends both the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 and the Critical Agricultural Materials Act to make hemp eligible for research and development funding. The Farm Bill further requires a study of pilot programs “to determine the economic viability of the domestic production and the sale of industrial hemp.” Id. at § 7605(a) (amending 7 U.S.C. 5940).
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