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January 1, 2019

After many months of deliberation and preparation of the Farm bill, it was finally presented before the Congress. On the11th of December, the US Senate approved the 2018 Farm bill with a whopping 84-13 vote. On the next day, the US House gave the bill a thumbs up with a 369 to 47 vote.

Then on December 20th, 2018, the United States president, Donald Trump, signed the bill into law. Included in the bill is a legislation that legalizes the farming of Hemp, both the farming and the production in the US.

Shortly before the Senate vote, Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell who was a major contributor in the Farm bill tweeted that the move was one in the right direction and one that will really help farmers who are already struggling with diminishing incomes.

“Hemp farming will offer hope in this struggling industry and a bright future for farmers”, he said.

This is indeed going to be something that farmers will look forward to, owing to the excitement that has been around hemp products, particularly CBD.

“Hemp farming will offer hope in this struggling industry and a bright future for farmers”

what is hemp legalization

What Hemp Legalization Really Means

When President Trump signed the bill into law, it removed hemp off the federal controlled substances’ list. This now allows farmers to obtain federal hemp cultivation permits which allows them to cultivate and produce hemp without much interference from the state. Again, the states will be allowed to come up with their own rules on how to regulate the farming of hemp.

Currently, hemp cultivation and production is being piloted in 40 states for both industrial and commercial purposes. For the longest time hemp has been classified as a schedule-I substance and its products have been strictly regulated. Also, hemp derived CBD has been treated separately from cannabis products. Now, since the signing of the bill, the law will be more clear on the oversight of hemp-derived CBD for all agencies whether the US FDA, state departments or even the state departments of agriculture.

From the economic point of view, according to Brightfield Group, the hemp-derived CBD market is expected to hit the $22 billion mark by 2022. Without the bill, such an investment would not be possible. While speaking to Lexington CBS affiliate WKYT, McConnel said that the move can be likened to how tobacco was important to Kentucky and the positive impacts that resulted.

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the signing of the passing of the bill. As you can imagine, there are a lot of people, especially the hemp advocates and stakeholders that are excited and celebrating the federal win as a major milestone in having hemp legalized.

Sean Hauser, the chairperson of Hemp and CBD practice group at Vicente applauded the move saying that it is about time for outdated drug laws to be done away with. Hemp will now be treated like any other crop which is legal for US farmers to grow.

Most people are hopeful that a lot of positive progress that will emerge from the legalization of Hemp. Farmers will now be able to maintain a steady flow of income as there is already a ripe market for hemp-based CBD. More industries will sprout up in regions where hemp is being produced and this will directly translate to a growth in job security for the region.

There is a lot that will need to be done to streamline the hemp industry but most people feel that this is a move in the right direction. Evidenced by the success in the production of hemp on the 40 pilot states, with clearer regulations, the hemp industry can only get better.

Hemp legalization will without a doubt open the US to the world. Of late, there has been a lot of activity around the legalization of hemp and cannabis products, the most recent one being Canada. With such activity, it is without a doubt that hemp and cannabis are gradually being accepted as legal substances and as such, it is only wise that a nation aligns itself to the move so as to make the best out of it. The move is without a doubt a game changer especially for farmers who will embrace hemp farming and those who will dare venture int the hemp industries.

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