The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, a piece of legislation aimed at reclassifying industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, was passed by the house, senate, and signed into law in mid-December of 2018.
The implications of this bill has profound impacts on the CBD industry, and helps dissipate the murky laws that mired the market for years. Before the passage of this landmark law, obtaining CBD, and its legal use, was largely unregulated, unenforced, and caused confusion among conflicting state and federal laws.
However, now that cannabidiol has been reclassified, removed for the DEA’s list of schedule-I drugs, and federally legalized, much of this confusion has been reduced. Below, we explain in detail the implications and benefits that can be expected from this new bill.
For the last few years, CBD consumption in the US was legal only if the substance came from more inert portions of the industrial hemp plant, like mature stalks or non-germinating seeds. Its transportation suffered from various jurisdictional differences that often clashed state-by-state, and the only domestically grown hemp was solely for cursory research facilitated by pilot programs under the previous farm bill.
Now that the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (popularly known as the 2018 Farm Bill) has passed with flying colors, most of those issues have been fixed. Below, we’ll get into more specifics regarding what this bill means for the future of the CBD industry.
Agriculture Act of 2018 (2018 US Farm Bill)
With the passage of this farm bill comes the long-awaited nationwide legalization of commercial hemp cultivation. Previously, only hemp-derived products imported from other countries and precursory research efforts permitted through the first farm bill, were legally allowed. But, now that both Congress and the House have signed this bill into action, hemp has been officially removed as a Schedule I drug and re-classified as a commercial commodity.
What does this mean? Well first off, expect major expansion and growth. Most market forecasters estimate that hemp and CBD will easily become a $1 billion industry, based on current demand trends. That level of growth is hard to ignore, so expect more businesses to hop on this trend, potentially opening the door for more innovative CBD products. Scientists and study groups can seek legal approval for actual, in-depth studies into the effects, side-effects, and safety of CBD use. This means publication of actionable, reliable, and accurate information regarding this substance and how it can be effectively used as a medicinal ingredient.
In regards to the law, CBD production is now legal at the federal level, however this bill does reserve broad authority for individual states to regulate specific levels of production and sale within their jurisdictions. But, they cannot alter, limit, nor diminish the transportation or shipment of CBD/hemp products through their state lines.
Please take note though, the FDA, as of now, has NOT removed CBD from their list of illegal drugs for use in food and medicine products. While CBD companies are free to pursue more aggressive marketing campaigns, we advise consumers to understand that further research will need to be conducted before the FDA grants approval of CBD-related products.
With the recent passage of the 2018 US Farm Bill, the flux status of CBD laws has been somewhat stabilized. With industrial hemp now considered agriculturally protected, obtaining legal, domestic hemp-derived products should be easier. However, some state laws may still affect more specific details regarding production, usage, and sale.
Accurate information is essential for making informed decisions, and while consulting with law professionals is always recommended, we want to illustrate that we care very much about providing accurate, up-to-date information.