Congress Legalizes Hemp in Latest Farm Bill

The recently passed Farm Bill, signed by President Trump, legalizes hemp production in the United States for the first time since 1970.

The bill does not legalize cannabis, aka marijuana, and the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, but it does clear the way for the production of industrial hemp products like rope, fabric, and also will allow the production of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD.

As more and more states decriminalize medical and recreational cannabis, this law is seen as an important step toward easing federal regulation of cannabis products. It is also expected to be a boon to the CBD industry, as it will also allow federal funding of research into the medical benefits of CBD in treating conditions such as fibromyalgia.

 

CBD oil fibromyalgia

Image: Elena Schweitzer / Shutterstock

 

Highlights:

  • The bipartisan bill was introduced in April and was sponsored by Sens. McConnell (R-KY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Legalizing hemp will give farmers a new cash crop which can help make up losses that some farmers who traditionally grew tobacco are seeing
  • Hemp is a good rotation crop for farmers. Hemp breathes in CO2, detoxifies the soil, and prevents soil erosion
  • 10 States and Washington DC have legalized recreational cannabis with THC, and 32 states have legalized medical cannabis
  • The bill will allow state departments of agriculture to make their own rules regarding the cultivation of hemp products
  • The Farm Bill does not allow for the legal use of pot for medical or recreational purposes; it only deals with hemp

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