2018 Farm Bill Is Signed Into Law Legalizing Hemp

The 2018 Farm Bill, passed by Congress on December 12, 2018, and signed into law by the President on December 20, 2018, includes Section 10113 titled “Hemp Production,” which removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, places full federal regulatory authority of hemp with USDA, and allows State departments of agriculture to file hemp programs plans and regulate hemp cultivation per their State-specific programs.

“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.”

Vote Hemp went on to say that in addition to defining hemp as cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, the bill asserts a ‘whole plant’ definition of hemp, including plant extracts; and removes roadblocks to the rapidly growing hemp industry in the U.S., notably by authorizing and encouraging access to federal research funding for hemp, and removing restrictions on banking, water rights, and other regulatory roadblocks the hemp industry currently faces. The bill also explicitly authorizes crop insurance for hemp. The full text of the hemp provisions in the Farm Bill of 2018 may be found at:  https://www.votehemp.com/2018farmbill.

Section 10113 “Hemp Production,” expands federally legal commercial hemp cultivation to tribal lands, reservations and U.S. territories—lands that had previously been omitted in Sec. 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, which allowed only for hemp farming programs in ‘States.’

“For too long, the outrageous and outdated ban on growing hemp has hamstrung farmers in Oregon and across the country,” Senator Ron Wyden said. “Hemp products are made in America, sold in America, and consumed in America. Now, hemp will be able to be legally grown in America, to the economic benefit of consumers and farmers in Oregon and nationwide.”

David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, soaps in North America that use hemp seed oil in its products said, “Dr. Bronner’s has advocated for the legalization of hemp farming since we added hemp seed oil to our products in 1999, and fought and beat the DEA during the Hemp Food Rules Challenge from 2001 to 2004. As a maker of hemp products, we are eager to source the 20 tons of hemp seed oil we use annually from American farmers.

“We see passage of this Farm Bill as a critical step in the development of the hemp industry. Now American farmers will have the opportunity to participate in a high value crop with a growing market opportunity, and consumers will have better access to hemp-based products,” said Dixie Brands CEO Chuck Smith. “It will also dramatically improve supply chain access for companies such as Dixie Brands, which has already developed a diversified and revenue-producing portfolio of CBD-based products under our Therabis and Aceso brands. As such, we applaud this development as a win for multiple groups and look forward to further advancing Dixie’s growth initiatives in this now legalized space.”

Debra Borchardt

Debra BorchardtDebra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the CEO, Co-Founder, and Editor-In-Chief of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Masters degree in Business Journalism from New York University.


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