What Does the New Farm Act of 2018 Mean for Hemp?

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Last year in December of 2018, the new 2018 Farm Bill was passed and the people of the cannabis community have been ecstatic over it. While this bill doesn’t allow cannabis with THC to be sold and grown all over the united states legally, this new farm bill has made hemp and it’s components federally legal to be grown and sold in all 50 states. After living through a time where hemp was a gray area, we are finally going to start to see the impact of a society who appreciates how the hemp plant can better our lives. But to know what we can expect in the future of hemp, you need to know what the new bill allows.

What Does the 2018 Farm Bill Say About Hemp?

The 2018 Farm Bill doesn’t just cover hemp; it is also changing many things about the industry that could be looked at as good or bad depending on how you are affected by it. One of the most exciting changes to the Farm Bill is the legalization of hemp. In the past, hemp was considered on the controlled substance list even though there was no evidence it belonged in that category. The bill has legalized all forms of cannabis with the legal limit of THC which is .3%. This low percentage of THC isn’t noticeable physically or mentally so you won’t be feeling high or getting the munchies and it won't make you fail a drug test.

Now that industrial hemp has been legalized, tribes, states, and territories can establish regulatory structures that can allow new farmers and ranchers to produce these new crops. In the past, hemp farmers were also not protected, but under the new law, they will be treated like the rest of the farmers. That means if they suffer from crop losses, they won’t be told tough luck and instead they will be helped.

What Does This Mean for CBD Hemp Oil

To clarify, full plant medical cannabis is still not legal. Hemp cannot contain more than the .3% of THC. There aren’t laws regarding any of the other hundreds of cannabinoids, just the euphoria-inducing THC. That would be considered non-hemp cannabis which is still federally illegal. You might think that now that industrial hemp is federally legal, all CBD products are now legal. While this logic does make sense, it isn’t accurate. If a CBD product comes from a cannabis plant that contains more than the legal amount of THC, that product is considered a non-hemp cannabis product and not a hemp product.

CBD from cannabis is federally illegal, CBD from hemp is federally lawful. Even though the chemical stays the same, the way the laws have been written prohibit manufacturing from a cannabis plant.

What Does This Mean for Agriculture?

While the laws haven’t made it easy to grow hemp like you could mint in your backyard, the research of the plant and how it can be used as an agricultural material has been extended. It is now recognized that hemp has a lot of potential when it comes to being an agricultural commodity. While people who have been using this plant for a long time know of its benefits, it’s important that there is science to back of claims, so their statements hold validity.

What Does This Mean for Our Environment?

Last year we wrote an article talking about how excited we were for this act because of how it may impact our environment. While it’s not like everyone in the country will be growing this plant, the amount additional farmers are going to make a huge difference in production in the US. By 2022, it is expected to be a $22 billion market. With this boom in hemp production, we may be seeing hemp in places you would never expect. Some of the things that can be replaced by hemp that could help improve our environment are:

  • Fuel
  • Plastic
  • Concrete
  • Cotton
  • Metal

What Does This Mean for Our Economy?

On the hemp farm, someone needs to maintain the plants, harvest the plants, and extract from the plant. This is just three jobs that are on the farm. This doesn’t even include companies who are going to need lawyers, janitors, marketers, writers, graphic designers, distributors, accountants, and so much more. By legalizing industrial hemp, there will be jobs in every state growing hemp helping the economy grow. Considering this is a business that is expected to make money, you might want to get in now while we are still in the beginning stages before the boom!

Sarah Potts

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