The 2018 Farm Bill
According to the Controlled Substances Act, hemp is now explicit from marijuana. It’s no longer illegal and is not treated as part of marijuana. It’s distinct from marijuana. It also now has a new definition which added to the old description, of being “a cannabis plant with no more than 0.3% THC”. It now includes cannabinoids, derivatives, and extracts. That is in there explicitly for the inclusion of CBD. This is the result of the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The USDA now controls hemp at the federal level. It will be under this farm bill that the rule goes into effect. But the regulatory body that controls hemp production and distribution is the USDA, as it regulates other agriculture.
Remember it is up to individual states and their programs. While it’s federally legal, different states will have their agenda for hemp. A big deal to hemp farmers is that they will have access to crop insurance, grants, and certifications. These benefits are going to be a significant difference between hemp and marijuana because marijuana farmers do not have these benefits at present. There is a part in the bill for Native Americans as well. They will have their program for the production of industrial hemp.
Another thing to keep in mind is interference with the interstate commerce of hemp and hemp products is expressly prohibited. That is one of the significant hazy parts of the 2014 farm bill, and this was turning into a substantial problem with states like Idaho seizing hemp moving from one legal state to another.
Part of the farm bill states that felons have to meet specific criteria to farm hemp. This rule applies if the crime was within the last ten years. This rule was a highly controversial part of the farm bill but accepted so that the farm bill could pass. Perhaps there will be an amendment in the future, but that is, of course, uncertain.
The Hemp Farming Act and Other Laws
The 2014 farm bill will take precedence until all of the other things like the USDA, and all the states creating their programs, Native American tribes creating their plans, etc. This process is not something that is going to happen overnight. The old bill will remain the same. Any states currently applying are applying under the old version of the farm bill, which is at present being controlled by the state regulatory body within the state under those same old rules. These means will remain the practice until the state takeover. The states will then need to present the new program to the USDA. The USDA will have a small window of time to approve or deny.
The Food Drug and Cosmetic Act is not affected by the farm bill. This avoidance is crucial as it allows for the US Food and Drug Administration to have the authority and regulate what permissible food and other ingestible products are. CBD is currently not allowed to be sold as a dietary supplement, and it’s also not allowed to be put in food. The main thing to take away is that the USDA and the FDA are the regulatory bodies maintaining control.