What the Farm Bill means for Hemp and CBD
President Trump signed into law the latest iteration of the Farm Bill earlier today leaving the hemp industry buzzing; and for good reason. This historic bill officially legalizes hemp and at the federal level, making way for an economic boom within the hemp sector. With hemp legalized federally, we will quickly start to see economic growth for both the overall economy, as well as, a surge in profit for farmers specifically. After an almost century long fight to re-legalize the hemp industry, it has finally happened.
What exactly does this bill do for hemp?
One of the most important aspects of this bill is the fact that it removes hemp from the Controlled Substance Act. This means hemp will no longer be classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Removing it from this status clears a path for the hemp industry to bloom freely and focus more time and money on significant scientific research into the thousands of uses for this plant. The Farm Bill will also allow transportation across state lines, production on tribal lands, state regulation, and for hemp to be labelled as certified organic. That being said, it only legalizes it federally; Certain states may very well hold their current prohibitions in place under this new legislation with the way it is written. It is also worth noting that this bill does not fully legalize CBD– at least not technically. Even though the Farm Bill moves regulation of hemp from the DEA to the USDA, as of right now, the FDA is holding strong to their previous position that CBD cannot be advertised as a dietary supplement or for medicinal purposes without their direct approval. However, the administration has said they could likely see that definition changing and the bill does allow CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC in them to be sold commercially.
How does this help farmers?
Without fear of federal prosecution, farmers can now capitalize on a plant that offers a significantly larger return on investment than common plants such as corn or wheat. To be specific hemp grown for CBD would go for approximately $8,000 per acre versus corn which goes for approximately $600 per acre. It also allows for a significant increase in hemp exports.¹ Given the fact that the US imported almost $100 million of hemp last year, this bill opens the floodgates for that money to surge back to US farmers. Experts are predicting the hemp industry will grow into an approximately $10.6 billion industry by 2025 adding another significantly ² beneficial economic boost as a result of this bill. Outside of financial benefits for farmers, hemp overall is an incredibly resilient crop. It takes about half the amount of water corn does, it grows incredibly fast, and it allows farms in arid western plains to focus the minimal water they have on other crops.
The Farm Bill is a good thing
For decades there have been misinformation campaigns conflating hemp and it’s sister plant marijuana. While they originate from the same family, agricultural hemp has no capability of getting a user ‘high’ if they were to smoke it. Hemp gets a person high the same way a shrimp-cocktail gets a person drunk. Allowing this legislation to pass has added a litany of tools to the American farmer’s tool belt, it paves the way for academic research into the plant, and it saves the entire country money through exports, interstate trade, and ending the DEA’s search for hemp based products. Now the only question is: Who will be the first ‘Walmart’ of hemp? Meanwhile, look for truly raw wholefood hemp extracts that are never processed with solvents or heat; the optimal hemp oil for supporting your whole family’s health, which can only be found at North American Herb & Spice.
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1 https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/18/criminal-justice-reform-hemp-marijuana-congress-22 2609