Hemp legalization clears House, off to president for final approval

Hemp legalization awaits the pen of President Donald Trump after the U.S. House on Wednesday followed the Senate and approved a 2018 Farm Bill that removes hemp from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.

The House voted 369-47 to agree to a Farm Bill compromise that includes redefining cannabis plants with no more than 0.3% THC.

The measure aims to clarify that those low-THC cannabis plants aren’t illegal drugs, which would be the most significant change to the Controlled Substances Act since it was passed in 1971.

Trump has 10 days to sign or veto the $867 billion bill; his signature is considered almost certain as Congress scrambles to finish its work before this session ends Dec. 21.

If signed into law, the bill will:

  • Remove hemp’s low amounts of THC from the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Allow nationwide hemp production, while permitting states to submit individual plans to regulate the crop to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will oversee hemp the same as any other agricultural commodity.
  • Guarantee interstate commerce for hemp products, including CBD.

Hemp won limited legal protections in 2014, when Congress passed a Farm Bill that gave states the ability to experiment with hemp production for research purposes. The 2014 Farm Bill gave rise to a patchwork of state regulations regarding hemp and hemp-derived CBD.

(Click here to read more details of the Farm Bill’s hemp provisions.)

11 comments on “Hemp legalization clears House, off to president for final approval
  1. Richard Scalia on

    This is one of the few things this government has done , with the U.S. Farmers in mind!!!! Thank you to all in this country that supported and pushed for this extraordinary bill to become federal law.. A long time coming.. My future is much brighter for it, I know that much today…..

    Reply
  2. Frank Lampe on

    Sorry. There’s no “guarantee” that CBD products will be able to be sold legally. In fact, they remain quite illegal as per FDA, which has said repeatedly that selling products with CBD is illegal, based on its drug approval for GW Pharma’s Epidiolex CBD product. Nothing in the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 changes that.

    Reply
    • George Bianchini on

      Sorry Frank,
      While the FDA continues to exercise jurisdiction over the regulation of ingestible and topical hemp products. We applaud the agency’s continued efforts to crack down on bad actors who undermine the industry through misguided marketing claims. And while we are concerned about non-binding statements made by the FDA that have led SOME state and local officials to question the legality of the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD, we are hopeful that we can work with the agency to clarify that CBD – which their own scientists concluded has no abuse potential and does not pose a risk to public health – should not be withheld from Americans who count on it for their health and wellness. The era of hemp prohibition is over. Hemp is now permanently removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). It is forever deemed an agricultural commodity, no longer mistaken as a controlled substance, like marijuana. Accordingly, the Drug Enforcement Administration no longer has any possible claim to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products.

      Section 10114 (p. 435): Nothing in the act prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp, nor can States or Tribes prohibit the transportation of hemp or hemp products through their territory.

      Jonathan Miller, General Counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, is the Member-in-Charge of Frost Brown Todd LLC
      (Lexington KY) and the former Kentucky State Treasurer.

      The 2018 Farm Bill with the Mitch McConnell Hemp rider was the first step. Now the FDA needs to be work on. This cat’s not going back in the bag, it’s here to stay. G.W. Pharma’s CBD drug has an extremely small hold on future CBD medicines. Even if they end up with control of CBD, our older folks (like me) can just get our CBD on the street corner. Hopefully they have handicap parking near by.

      Reply
      • Stephen on

        The detail considering that which is discussed today, a.k.a “The elephant in the room” topics that don’t focus on the realities of why hemp was made illegal in the first place. I don’t think I’m informing anyone here of what’s detailed in “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” Why does the conversation focusing on the illogical classifications that not only can’t be validated now but never could (schedule I/Highly Addictive, No medicinal properties)? Why don’t the industry reps/pro legislators speak of the proven and documented reality as compared to the faux logic narrative that seems to be in place only to avoid the fact that there’s absolutely zero justification and is only taking place so the government can extend regulation(taxation), protect the funds provided by the legal system and ultimately protecting the interests of big pharma?

        Being that the regulation over the can’t be validated under the drug classification chart couple3d with the history of why it was made illegal in the US to begin with, why aren’t we talking about the root issue? Why aren’t are representatives forcing a public answer to these question instead of talking about the created narrative ignoring that it holds zero validity?

        Reply
  3. Johnathan Aluitious Hempseed Da 3rd on

    Food, fuel, fiber, medicine,and a low input crop.Hemp has low fertilizer needs if grown with a legume in rotation,needs no pesticides,no competing ” weed” problems as it crowds out competitors.The bast and unwanted leaf material can be blown back onto the field after retting to compost and further reduce erosion.What is not to love,cellulose for ethanol ,hemp-seed oil for diesel fuel( the fuel Rudolph Diesel intended,construction panels,paper,you name it hemp can do it!

    Reply

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