The legalization of hemp has been a long-awaited event for many in the cannabis industry. In 2018, the United States Farm Bill was passed, which federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived products. This monumental legislation has opened up a world of possibilities for hemp producers, consumers, and advocates alike. But what does this mean for the industry? What regulations are in place? And what does the future hold for hemp? This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of hemp legalization in the United States. At the federal level, hemp is defined as any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3 percent THC, according to section 10113 of the Farm Bill.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware that products containing CBD are available in states that have legalized cannabis, as well as in states that have not enacted any legislation related to cannabis. To meet federal and state requirements, as well as consumer demand, producers have developed methods to remove THC from their hemp extracts. States that have legalized cannabis often require that all cannabis products undergo safety and quality testing. With approximately half a million acres of hemp and more than 20,000 growers in the United States, the remediation of THC will continue to be an important step in the production of hemp-based products. This year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been a strong supporter of hemp policy reform, putting the cannabis plant in the spotlight. However, McConnell remains a staunch opponent of marijuana reform and his role in the Senate could be an obstacle to legislation passed by Democrats in the 116th Congress.
Additionally, anyone who falsifies information on their application to participate in hemp production will be banned from participating in the future. The new Farm Bill does not create a completely free system in which individuals or companies can grow hemp whenever and wherever they want. While cultivation remains highly regulated, the law legalizes the production and distribution of hemp under federal law and establishes a framework of shared oversight by federal, state and indigenous tribal authorities. The pilot programs allowed to study hemp (often referred to as “industrial hemp”) were approved by the United States almost a decade ago. Since then, there has been significant shared state and federal regulatory power over the cultivation and production of hemp. Another difficulty for industry stakeholders is considering the various treatments of hemp and CBD under state law.
Although this trend is still valid in states where recreational cannabis has been legalized.