In this Article we are going to be discussing the new recently signed farm bill by President Trump and what it means for the hemp and CBD space.
What is the 2018 Farming Act (Farm Bill)?
Basically, the 2018 hemp farming act is the big decision that we are all in the hemp industry waiting for. The decision was made at the end of September. The House and the Senate need to come to a resolution on whether or not hemp and hemp CBD will be included in the new farm bill and will they be federally legal. Which is the first time this has ever been considered.
You can think of this as the next version of the 2014 farm bill, which really exploded the CBD industry and domestic hemp growing in the United States. Before that farm bill, there was no hemp production in the United States since basically World War two. It was all being imported in from other countries. It was being imported not just for CBD but also for other hemp food products, hemp seed products and anything that uses hemp seed oil. Dr. Bronner’s soap being one of the biggest companies that uses hemp seed oil in their soap. And all kinds of other companies and brands that use hemp products are all importing it. You were able to buy hemp products in the United States before 2014 but it wasn’t being grown domestically in the United States. Once President Obama signed the farm bill for 2014, that made it so that farmers in Kentucky, Colorado anyone that had a state program for growing hemp was able to start growing it, and then also processing it into different kinds of products, of course including CBD.
What will change with the new 2018 Farm Bill?
Let’s go over this list of what changes we can expect now, because we know everyone is dying to know is hemp CBD legal now? Can I grow it in my backyard? What’s the deal? Is it still regulated? So let’s go over this bullet point list and talk about it.
Hemp is now excluded from being treated as Marijuana
Hemp is now expressly excluded from being treated as marijuana under federal control through the Controlled Substances Act. So it is off that radar. It’s not treated as part of marijuana. It’s distinct from marijuana. And it’s also now has a new definition which includes an addition to the old definition of being a cannabis plant with no more than 0.3% THC.
It now also includes cannabinoids derivatives and extracts. That is explicitly in there for the inclusion of CBD. So, hemp is now controlled by the USDA at a federal level and it will be under this farm bill. The regulations go into the farm bill but the regulatory body that controls it is now the USDA as it controls other agriculture.
Individual states & native Americans will have their own program
It will still be up to individual states. That’s one thing to keep in mind. While it’s federally legal, individual states will have their own programs for hemp.
Hemp farmers, this is a big deal, will now be able to have access to crop insurance grants and certifications and this is going to be a major difference between hemp and marijuana. Because marijuana farmers do not have that privilege at this time.
They will also have a section for tribal governments – Native Americans and they will have their own products and their own program for the production of industrial hemp.
Interstate Commerce of Hemp and Hemp Products
This is another huge thing now. Interference with interstate commerce of hemp and hemp products is expressly prohibited. That is one of the major parts of the former farm bill in 2014, which wasn’t addressed as explicitly. And this was turning into a major problem with states like Idaho seizing hemp moving from one legal state to another.
One case for example is from Colorado to Oregon. So it’s fine in Oregon and it’s fine in Colorado but it wasn’t in Idaho. Now that hemp and the products made from it are federally legal under the new Farm Bill this will not be a problem anymore.
Former felons may only participate under certain criteria
There is a section in the farm bill, where a felon will be prohibited from participating in the growing of industrial hemp unless they meet certain criteria, such as a ten year Rule for that. If it was within ten years then you are not allowed to attend, if it is older than 10 years, it is fine.
This was a highly controversial part of the farm bill and we believe there was a possible amendment and we need to check on that. We believe there was a possible exception on that part, but for most people although that could be done on a case-by-case basis.
It wasn’t something that would make or break their desire for this to go through. And that’s even though that part of it might not be agreeable to everyone obviously, as this was controversial. It might be something to sacrifice just to get hemp and CBD legal at this point, and something that can be amended later on.
Is it now possible for everyone to grow hemp?
And here again. There will be different regulations from state to state. To what extent can someone personally grow hemp in his garden depends on which state he lives in. We also believe that it probably will not be that easy. It will certainly be related to conditions and certifications.
Under the new farm bill, all cannabis varieties are considered as hemp that have a THC content less than 0.3%.
New high resin varieties with high CBD content and low THC content are also included in this category.
The problem with the cultivation of such high resin hemp varieties for private use is, that they can hardly be visually distinguished from marijuana varieties. In our opinion, this will also be one of the reasons why private hemp cultivation is unlikely to be unconditionally released nationwide.
The 2014 Farm Bill will persist until……
The 2014 version of the farm bill is still going to be in place until all of this other stuff like the USDA and all the states and Native American tribes create their own programs. It’s not something that like happens overnight, that’s what a lot of people think. It doesn’t work that way. The old bill still stays the same way.
So people who applied in their own state such as Kentucky, Pennsylvania any state that has hemp they are still applying under the old version of the farm bill. And it’s still being controlled by the state regulatory body within the state under the rules of the old farm bill until the USDA and the new program made by the state takeover.
The new program will be presented by the state’s to the USDA and then the USDA has a certain time period to reply and either accept it or deny it.
The Farm Bill does not affect the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act
The farm bill does not affect the federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act and that’s really important. This allows for the US Food and Drug Administration, otherwise known as the FDA, to have Authority and regulate what is permissible food and other ingestible products.
If you look at the statement from the FDA, which we will also link to, you will see that CBD is still not allowed to be sold as a dietary supplement. And it’s also not allowed to be put in food. So, this will create some confusion we believe for CBD edibles. We’re going to have to see what happens with that. We are not sure yet exactly how that’s going to be treated.
The USDA and the FDA are now setting the tone
But the main regulatory bodies, that you need to be aware of in the CBD and hemp space is the USDA and the FDA. And you should closely read the latest press release from the FDA for sure. Just so you know what’s going on. The USDA and the FDA are the ones to watch as well as the state plans that each state will be presenting for how they want to treat industrial hemp. It will still be regulated.
By and large, this is the summary of the current 2018 Farm Bill. We are seeing exciting times for the hemp and CBD products industry. As soon as we learn more about the farm bill and the individual programs of the states we will report here on thehempoilbenefits.com.