Hemp legalization clears House, off to president for final approval

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2018 Farm Bill, 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.)