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Congress handed the hemp industry an early Christmas present this year when it passed the 2018 Farm Bill, officially legalizing hemp in the U.S. today when President Trump signed the bill. This new bill will radically alter the hemp and CBD industries in this country. Both of these industries are anticipated to experience unprecedented growth this year following full legalization.
Let’s take an inside look at the changes to our nation’s hemp policy contained in the 2018 Farm Bill and what that means for Kannaway as we take advantage of the new opportunities provided in the newly passed omnibus law.
The End of Eight Decades of Prohibition
Hemp has been on a path toward legalization since hemp cultivation was partially legalized for research purposes in the last Farm Bill. In 2014, Section 7606 of the Farm Bill — signed into law by President Obama — gave authorization to states to grow hemp for research and pilot programs. 35 states created hemp pilot programs under this policy to explore whether a domestic hemp industry was viable in the U.S.
Earlier this year, a provision was added to the 2018 Farm Bill that would fully legalize the hemp industry in the U.S. The bill, known as the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) with the goal of removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and allowing it to be sold as an agricultural commodity.
This bill would eventually be folded into the 2018 Farm Bill, an omnibus set of laws that governs, among other things, agriculture in our country. The 2018 Farm Bill passed the Senate first last week, followed shortly after by the House of Representatives. The bill was then signed today by President Trump, officially making it law. It will take effect on January 1, 2019.