Farm Bill agreement allows nationwide hemp cultivation for any use – including CBD

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears at Hemp Industry Daily. This story has been updated with the full Senate approving the 2018 Farm Bill.)

A long-awaited end to five decades of hemp prohibition has been approved by a House-Senate panel, potentially opening the door to hemp production in all 50 states for any use – including CBD.

The measure is included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which passed the Senate 87-13 on Tuesday and still must pass the House before work is concluded for the year and all pending legislation dies.

Final approval of the landmark legislation would open many new business opportunities for hemp companies as well as marijuana businesses that want to diversify into a crop that would be fully legal in the eyes of the federal government.

In addition to lifting restrictions on advertising, marketing, banking and other financial services, the passage of the measure would:

  • Allow hemp production in all 50 states for any use, including flower production and CBD or other cannabinoid extraction. States will have the option to submit their own plans to regulate hemp.
  • Spell out that licensed hemp producers who grow cannabis plants that exceed the THC limitation of 0.3% will not be guilty of a drug crime but instead must submit a plan to correct the “hot” hemp.
  • Allow interstate commerce for hemp and hemp-derived CBD.
  • Give the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the job of overseeing hemp production, with direction to come up with rules “as expeditiously as practicable.”
  • Legalize hemp production in U.S. territories and on Indian tribal land – which was not included under the 2014 Farm Bill.
  • Give the industry access to federally backed farm support programs, including crop insurance, federal water access and low-interest loans for new farmers.
  • Allow hemp producers to “bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill “temporary agricultural jobs.”
  • Remove barriers to getting intellectual property protections under federal law, such as patents and trademarks.
  • Set a 10-year ban under which state or federal drug felons cannot participate in the hemp program, except for people already growing hemp under a state pilot project (as established by the 2014 Farm Bill).
  • Require the USDA to consult with the U.S. attorney general on the hemp rules.

(Click here to read more about the ramifications of the compromise.)

Kristen Nichols can be reached at [email protected]

18 comments on “Farm Bill agreement allows nationwide hemp cultivation for any use – including CBD
  1. Brett Von Bergen on

    The one thing they forgot….that all of this means nothing now that regulation shifts to the FDA-which still says CBD is illegal and cannot be added to foods or bought and sold across state lines. Best thing that could happen quickly, tell the FDA to add CBD to the GRAS list!

    Reply
    • Melody Harwood on

      Exactly, Brett! That’s the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. It’ll be more onerous than just GRASing CBD though… FDA has explicitly stated that CBD is not permitted in foods or dietary supplements due to previous clinical trials as an investigational new drug (IND). No company has successfully petitioned FDA to create a regulation providing for an exemption to the IND provision. IMHO, industry is going to need to come together on this one.

      Reply
  2. Jim Boynton on

    I predicted this success for the industry, or rather for consumers. Clearly, access to more normal loan rates will increase cultivation acreage dramatically which will logically have a downward effect on bushel cost at wholesale. More supply, period.
    I also predict that the president, so maligned by fear mongers, will sign this legislation. He is a pragmatist above all and he knows it is the right thing for our nation.

    Reply
    • George Bianchini on

      Yes, and thank goodness he solved the North Korean and global warming threat. He will sign the bill as it’s veto proof. But he’s still a dumb ass!

      Reply
      • Lawrence Goodwin on

        Successive U.S. Congresses, starting way back in April 1937, are the real “dumb” ones for imposing this legal “marihuana” nightmare upon the entire nation. It is they, not our current petulant and bombastic president, who have mercilessly destroyed public knowledge of dioecious cannabis plants (species that offer pollinating male and seed-bearing female flowers). Through all of these decades, Democrats and Republicans in Congress were united in decimating America’s hemp and medical cannabis markets. They are decades late in restoring “industrial hemp” commerce, for which there never was any justification to ban.

        My point is that Jim Boynton is right to focus on the pragmatism part, especially since there happens to be growing angst among America’s farmers in relation to Trump’s recent world trade disputes. He probably sees how, by opposing this bill, alienating more farmers would be true stupidity. They need any federal help they can get, just as he needs their votes—if he can survive politically that long, being so clearly devoid of human decency.

        There’s even a provision in this pending Farm Bill that could help Trump deal with the “caravan” issue on the Mexican border: As it states above, the bill would “allow hemp producers to ‘bring foreign nationals to the United States’ to fill ‘temporary agricultural jobs.’” Let these humble caravan people work on our hemp farms, Mr. President, and their jobs can be considered “temporary” all year long. We’re going to need that many hands, and countless more, too, since cannabis crops—of any type—always will be labor-intensive.

        Reply
  3. George Bianchini on

    Dear BCC,

    Please ignore the last five emails regarding how to deal with THC derived from Hemp. It appears the O’Connell Farm Bill deals with this. Here is a quote from the U.S. Hemp round Table’s general counsel:

    Section 12619 (p. 540): Hemp is removed from the definition of “marihuana,” and THC found in hemp is excluded from the definition of a controlled substance.

    The way I/we understand this, is I/we still cannot sell our Hemp derived THC or CBD in the California cannabis regulations controlled by the BCC. This is well defined in the current regulations. But selling Hemp products including THC derived from Hemp is no longer illegal as it is completely de-scheduled from the CSA.
    (when Trump signs it into law). Assuming he’s not on the run.

    I will be attending Tomorrow’s 12-12-18 Hemp Board meeting to discuss an alternative dispensary model for heath conscience Californians. This will provide the necessary competition resulting in cannabis products at less than half the costs of the regulation driven adult market.

    I am starting to see the wisdom in Lori Ajax’s refusal to allow hemp in the BCC program even though other states figured it out. I am guessing that she just couldn’t tell us. I will suggest a seed to sale COC similar to corn or tomato crops at the Hemp board meeting.

    Reply
  4. Billie on

    Surely Trump could benefit from a small dose of CBD three times a day, especially if he is going to be on the air, the screen or twitter. Maybe a medium dose. Good stuff !

    Reply

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