In a day filled with tumultuous national news, President Trump quietly signed the 2018 Farm Bill, and with the stroke of a pen instituted the most sweeping cannabis industry federal reform in decades. The bill, now officially a law, legalizes the agricultural production of hemp by removing its designation as a drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he believes that this action will encourage farmers to tap into what he believes could be a significant source of revenue in the future:
“I don’t want to overstate this. I don’t know if it’s going to be the next tobacco or not. But I do think it has a lot of potential,” McConnell said. “And as all of you already know, in terms of food and medicine but also car parts. I mean, it’s an extraordinary plant.”
The legalization of hemp leaves CBD regulation up to individual states and could foster a hemp farming revolution in United States. Industrial hemp investors and entrepreneurs are excited because this move signals the potential expansion of the market for cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound that has sprung up in beverages, health products and pet snacks, among other products. CBD products are on track to ring up nearly 600 million in sales for the year; hemp legalization lays the foundation for a multibillion market. The Farm Bill places industrial hemp, which is defined as a cannabis plant with under 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — under the supervision of the Agriculture Department and removes CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, which covers marijuana. The law also preserves the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate products containing cannabis, or cannabis-derived compounds. Expect legislation promoting hemp cultivation and processing in your area soon, and an even larger assortment of products containing CBD in retail outlets nationwide.