By Savannah Cotten
On December 20th, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, effectively removing hemp and its derivatives from the Controlled Substance Act. Hemp and its extracts or derivatives (including CBD) will now be under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture and viewed as an agricultural commodity. The bill is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2019.
This is significant progress for the CBD industry in the United States. With a rapidly growing market, the new legislation can take CBD to the next level of legitimacy. It’s important to note, however, that the bill doesn’t apply to all CBD products; only those derived from legally produced industrial hemp.
The bill defines industrial hemp as “any part or derivative of cannabis with a THC level below 0.3% on a dry-weight basis.” If products contain more than 0.3% of THC they are still considered illegal. While these federal guidelines now exist, each state can create its own regulations around hemp and we’ll most likely see variations throughout the states.
There’s no denying that the new legislation is positive progress for the CBD industry. “The passage of this bill will take an already growing industry and direct the trajectory straight vertical as the world learns about the power of this unique plant,” claims Steven Thompson, CEO of Zilis, a hemp-based CBD company out of Texas. Thompson is just one of the numerous farmers and CBD entrepreneurs optimistic for the future of the increasingly popular market and its potential to help revitalize American agriculture.
Ultimately, the 2018 Farm Bill is a dense, detailed document that has its share of grey areas. Nonetheless, the passing of the bill is a groundbreaking moment for hemp-based products, especially CBD. While there’s still a number of uncertainties surrounding CBD regulations, only time will tell the impact the new laws will have on federal and state levels.