The latest agricultural innovation in the United States is a plant cultivated in North America long before the Declaration of Independence. In 2018, America officially legalized hemp, once a common crop in the U.S. until it was linked with its psychotropic cousin, marijuana and effectively banned in 1937.
After decades of prohibition, in 2014, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kickstarted a bipartisan push for hemp legalization by advocating for hemp cultivation as part of state-run research programs, culminating in 2018’s landmark legislation that removed hemp from the nation’s schedule one list of controlled substances.
The 2018 Farm bill legalized America’s hemp industry, which will revolutionize the growing CBD market and allow many of today’s hemp farmers to expand their businesses
Unfortunately, this legislation doesn’t have similar benefits for businesses producing and selling CBD food and supplements, instead placing entrepreneurs in the government’s crosshairs.
On the day President Trump signed the farm bill into law, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a statement declaring that the regulatory body will treat products containing CBD as drugs, doubling down on the FD&C Act, which makes it illegal to market CBD products as dietary supplements.
This means greater scrutiny for CBD product makers and potentially crushing costs for clinical trials. Drugs seeking FDA approval generally take around 10 years to make it to market, time that will likely put most small operations out of business.
This is a development we’ll continue to watch, as we advocate for small business owners. Cannabis isn’t just an industry, it’s a movement.
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