We are breaking it down for you.
Hemp has been legalized. We view this as important positive news for cannabidiol (CBD), as CBD is one of the most significant products derived from hemp.
On December 20th, 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, was signed into law. The $867 billion Farm Bill replaced the now expired 2014 Farm Bill with strong bipartisan support in Congress, something that seems to be growing increasingly rare, and we believe bodes well for the future of CBD. The House of Representatives approved the Farm Bill on December 12, 2018 in a vote of 386-47 a day after the Senate passed the legislation in a vote of 87-13. The Farm Bill, intended to aid farmers and ranchers, was passed against a backdrop of steep agricultural commodity price declines, blamed by many analysts on the current trade dispute with China and retaliatory actions taken against U.S. crops by the Chinese government.
Importantly, the Farm Bill legalizes hemp, removing many of the restrictions from the 2014 Farm Bill. Hemp is defined in the legislation as cannabis containing 0.3% or less delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The Farm Bill removes hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, returns it to a commodity under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture, and, crucially, allows hemp producers to be eligible for the federal crop insurance program. The Farm Bill also permits the sale, transport (including across state lines), and possession of hemp-derived products, as long as those items are produced in a manner consistent with the law.
There will, however, continue to be significant regulatory controls over the production of hemp. The Farm Bill requires that each state’s department of agriculture, governor, and chief law enforcement officer submit a licensing and regulatory plan for hemp, which will go into effect only when approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA will promulgate regulations, which will govern hemp cultivators, in any state that opts not to devise its own framework. Additional guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is expected to be provided shortly and we will be monitoring these announcements closely.
What does this mean for CBD consumers?
We are encouraged by these developments and their impact on our ability to provide you with quality CBD products. In the short term, we expect to see the CBD market continue to evolve rapidly with many new participants offering products. We also expect that it will take some time for the regulatory framework to be clarified. This is likely to further increase the challenges faced by consumers when attempting to find products that satisfy their individual needs and that come from reliable sources. As such, we will continue to view as core to our mission thoroughly evaluating the products and producers we offer to you. We will continue to analyze many factors including laboratory results, cleanliness, potency, hemp sourcing, and business practices, in order to offer to you the highest quality products from the most ethical producers.