Editor’s Note: This is not legal advice. Heck, the law isn’t even fully clear yet!
Secret Nature On Accessing Hemp-Derived Cannabidiol (CBD)
The 2018 Farm Bill now regards industrial hemp (that’s cultivated with a THC level less than .3%), as an agricultural crop. It is no longer a misidentified drug.
This Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 provides aid to farmers who have been hurt by natural disasters. Sonny Perdue, US Secretary of Agriculture and former Governor of Georgia, said in an interview with Fox:
“Farming is a risky business. This Farm Bill provides a safety net for those things that happen (drought, flood, hail, hurricanes) when people cannot help it. This is a safety net for prices and production to support that. It’s good for the ag economy, food security, and the national economy.”
The Farm Bill has also been called a bailout, and a food stamp bill. But despite one’s political leanings, the $867 billion, 807-page bipartisan bill seems to be undivided about the fact that cultivating industrial hemp will, again, be great for the American economy. Prior to this bill, the US suffered the following abuse of logic:
American farmers were forbidden from growing hemp the past 80 years.
America loves hemp so much, that it became the world’s leading importer of it. (Bloomberg predicts the legal CBD market will balloon to $20 billion by 2022.)
- Federal law forced Americans to support the agricultural economies of China and Canada (the world’s two leading hemp exporters), while watching the value of its own corn and soy continue to drop.
The Farm Bill brings that madness to an end, and unleashes a host of positive ecological benefits, such as increased bio-mass with less water usage, remineralized soil, and the replacement of harmful petro-chemicals with natural fiber and oil.
Something can be legal (like slavery was), and still be flat-out immoral or dumb (like the prohibition of hemp was). But now that it has finally been removed from the Controlled Substances Act, its production is again nationally legalized.
Hemp was a legislative casualty in the cross-hairs of the US government’s schizophrenic handling of industrial hemp. There is a long history of on-again, off-again drama with this highly productive, soil-regenerating crop:
In 1937, US farmers were forbidden from growing hemp. In 1942, US farmers were then asked to grow as much hemp as possible, (because fiber was needed for the war). In 1945, when WWII ended, US farmers were once more forbidden from growing hemp. Now, it’s legal again.
If you are wondering why such an incredibly useful plant would have ever been purposely kept out of American production all this time, watch this.
The Crop (Hemp) Is Legal, But Its Compound (CBD) Remains In A Gray Zone
“The DEA, which controls the scheduling of substances, has not said how it will respond to the new (farm) bill. As it stands, so long as a CBD product is "intended for human consumption," it remains a Schedule 1 drug,” DEA spokesperson Katherine Pfaff recently told Business Insider. She said she couldn't comment on how the bill might affect the DEA's approach.” (Business Insider)
The rapid changes in both the legislation and innovation of hemp, have created a lot of understandable confusion for consumers. Many are unsure of the legality of hemp/CBD. Especially those who, as of this writing, live in states that still prohibit both medical and recreational cannabis.
States With Limited Or No Cannabis Legality
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Below, the US Hemp Roundtable summarized the bill’s hemp-specific regulations:
Hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by creating a definition separate from marijuana and defining it as an agricultural commodity - fully legalizing the plant.
Hemp was redefined to include its extracts, cannabinoids, and derivatives clearly defining CBD-rich hemp extracts as legal.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can no longer interfere with interstate hemp commerce, making transport and sale of hemp and CBD products across state borders legal.
Federally regulated institutions can now find comfort in dealing with hemp-industry commerce. This includes banks, credit card companies, merchant services, e-commerce service providers, and advertising platforms.
Hemp farmers now may access crop insurance and may participate in USDA programs for certification and competitive grants.
- State and Tribal governments may impose separate restrictions or requirements pertaining to hemp farming and the sale of hemp products. These states, however, cannot interfere with interstate transport of hemp or hemp products.
After a long and unfair delay, the farm bill brings front-and-center what many consider to be the most important agricultural crop ever (hemp), which is rich in one of the most important cannabinoids (CBD).
First, determine you won’t be kept separate from its many benefits. Then, be sure to only choose and use CBD products that have been steeped in care, rigor, and excellence.