US Legalizes Hemp: Trump signs the 2018 Farm Bill

US Legalizes Hemp: Trump signs the 2018 Farm Bill

On Thursday, the United Stated legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp. President Trump signed the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill (also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018).

This bill was historic. It finally legalized hemp. Hemp cultivation will be regulated by the Department of Agriculture.

Most CBD in the burgeoning CBD industry is derived from hemp. The fibrous plant is also used to make a variety of products, like clothing, paper, and home construction materials.

Congress passed the bill on December 12, and hemp and CBD advocates crossed their fingers while waiting for Trump to sign the bill. The legislation removes hemp from the Controlled Substances list. It also allows hemp farmers to gain access to resources such as banking and crop insurance.

Hemp has long been prohibited by the same federal legislation that makes marijuana illegal. (The farm bill does not address marijuana, which remains federally illegal.) 

Because hemp has been illegal, yet still in demand by consumers, the U.S. imports approximately $60 million worth of hemp from countries like China each year. But now, thanks to this bill, domestic hemp production is expected to skyrocket. 

This move comes on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving a CBD-based seizure medication earlier this year. That marked the first time the FDA had approved CBD in a drug.

But among consumers, CBD has already gained immense popularity. Americans are using CBD to treat everything from insomnia to arthritis to issues with their pets. Others use it because they have cancer, menstrual cramps, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Current FDA guidelines don’t allow for CBD products to claim benefits for serious or life-threatening diseases but people are confident that the current guidelines will continue to change over the coming months. 

Cannabis legalization is rapidly spreading across the United States. Now that hemp and CBD are blowing up and becoming full-on legal, the wave is sure to continue. Retailers are already starting to carry more hemp-based products such as lotions, topicals, tinctures, and capsules. 

Some states, like Colorado, already have laws governing hemp production. But the new legislation will allow transportation across state lines. It will support academic research. It also encourages production on tribal lands.

Each of these processes is vital to the growth of an industry that has been illegal for decades.