If you haven’t already heard the news, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill yesterday and cannabi-di-hards are rejoicing in the streets. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill means BIG things for the future of hemp. The signing of the Bill removed hemp and hemp derivatives, such as the popular compound CBD, from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Hemp is now permanently removed from the CSA and forever deemed an agricultural commodity, like wheat or potatoes. While the USDA completes the national hemp regulations and individual states craft their own regulations surrounding the plant, some grey area will likely remain; however, this is an exciting step for farmers, processors, sellers and consumers of hemp CBD.
According to a press release published by the House Committee on Agriculture, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) issued the following remarks: “With President Trump signing the farm bill today, America keeps faith with those hard-working farm and ranch families who put food on our tables and clothes on our backs.” Hemp farmers will no longer face legal or regulatory burdens for producing a crop classified as an illegal drug. Obstacles they will no longer have to face include difficulty getting crop insurance or barriers receiving a loan.
Not only does it positively impact the producers of hemp CBD, but consumers as well. According to a Hemp Industry Daily article, “the USDA must come up with national hemp regulations ‘as expeditiously as practicable.’ The national plan must include procedures for checking THC content and plans to destroy plants that test ‘hot’” (above the 0.3% THC level). This plan will hopefully benefit consumers as they are combing through the market for hemp CBD products. By regulating the industry, only companies meeting certain criteria will last and the others will be weeded out. We hope this ensures only high quality, safely made products are available to consumers.
It is important to remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains authority over foods, drugs and cosmetics. Yesterday the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., released a statement outlining how they will continue to treat products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds like any other FDA-regulated products. The FDA will continue to crack down on hemp CBD sellers imposing certain health claims. They have also restated that it is “unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived.”
Although the legalization of hemp still has several implications and restrictions, we believe it is a step in the right direction and we’re excited for the future of the industry!