The signing of the Farm Bill generated praise from hemp and CBD industry leaders and advocates, who celebrated the lifting of a decades-long ban on hemp.
Donald Trump’s signing of the 2018 Farm Bill yesterday sparked applause from industry leaders in the hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) space.
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, contains provisions that legalize hemp and its compounds at the federal level. Prior to the bill’s signing, hemp had been listed as a controlled substance, forcing United States businesses to obtain the crop from international sources.
The passage of the new Farm Bill removes hemp from the federal list of controlled substances and reclassifies the plant as an agricultural commodity. Moving forward, U.S. farmers will be able to grow, process, and sell the plant commercially, and hemp is now legal nationwide for any use, including the extraction of CBD oil.
Reactions from Hemp and CBD Leaders
The final approval of this landmark legislation was met with celebration by hemp and CBD industry leaders and advocates who foresee many new opportunities now that hemp and its extracts are fully legal in the U.S.
“Today history was made with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill making hemp a fully legal agricultural crop,” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. “Once again, after an 80 plus year absence, American farmers have the opportunity to grow it. Our company, a pioneer in the hemp-based CBD industry, is especially excited to see what this could mean for the transformation of the American economy towards becoming more sustainable and renewable. We believe the legalization of hemp will eventually add over one million jobs and create percentage point additions to our Gross Domestic Output.”
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano called attention to the momentousness of the U.S. government lifting its decades-long prohibition on domestic, commercial hemp production.
“The significance of this law change should not be underemphasized,” Armentano said in a press release. “This law marks the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970, and paves the way for the first federally-sanctioned commercial hemp grows since World War II.”
Joy Beckerman, Board President of Hemp Industries Association, praised the passage of the bill and the new economic opportunities it offers for domestic farmers and U.S. businesses that will take advantage of the many uses of hemp.
“After decades of commitment and hard work by revolutionary pioneers and advocates, legalization of the extraordinarily versatile hemp crop as an agricultural commodity is finally upon us. From dense nutrition, body care, and wellness, to paper, textiles, building materials, bioplastics, biofuel, and nanotechnology, hemp has arrived to reinvigorate American farms. We are now experiencing the historic ushering in of true agricultural and industrial revolutions in the United States, and the HIA is poised and ready for both!” Beckerman said in a statement.
The legalization of hemp is the culmination of years of advocacy by organizations like Vote Hemp. The non-profit organization has been working since 2000 to bring back hemp farming in the U.S.
“This bill constitutes a momentous victory for the movement in support of hemp farming, and will have far-reaching positive impacts on rural economies and farming communities, increase availability of sustainable products for American consumers, and create new businesses and jobs in the hemp industry,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.
“Now that we have lifted federal prohibition on hemp farming, it’s time to invest our energy in expanding hemp cultivation and the market for hemp products across the country so that all can reap the benefits of this of this versatile, historic American crop,” he added.
Learn More About Hemp Legalization
The hemp provisions included in the 2018 Farm Bill take effect on January 1, 2019.
You can learn more about the Farm Bill and what it means for the future of hemp and CBD here, and keep up with the rapidly growing cannabis industry through our news page, or our Facebook and Twitter feeds.