Updated: Jan 12, 2019
The CBD industry has largely operated in a legal grey area due to ambiguous language in the laws and discrepancies between federal and state norms. However, in the last year, the hemp industry has made considerable strides to achieve full legalization which was finally achieved with the signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act, more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill.
Is CBD Legal Under the New Bill?
Under new regulations established by the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD are no longer included in the federal list of controlled substances. The bill also establishes that hemp is to be managed by the Department of Agriculture as a crop rather than by the Justice Department as an illegal drug.
Hemp had been classified as an illegal controlled substance for decades due to its close relationship to marijuana even though hemp produces no psychoactive effects or ”high” as that associated with marijuana. The reclassification of hemp under the new bill legally distances hemp and CBD products from marijuana which is still illegal in most states.
By legalizing hemp, the farm bill opens new doors for the CBD industry which is expected to become a multi-billion market in the next few years. The bill helps farmers and everyone involved the cultivation, extraction, and manufacturing processes take part in a booming industry that is being called the next gold rush.
“This is an industrial-use product, medicinally as well as other products, and we look forward to developing markets for it if it’s a profitable crop,” said US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Agriculture needs new products.”
What This Means for CBD
The new farm bill does away with the risks previously associated with the production and transportation of hemp-derived products like CBD. The bill eases restrictions on the production of hemp-derived products like CBD and allows it to be moved across state lines effectively maximizing the potential for exports, sales, and overall industry growth.
“The day the farm bill passes, the day we’re allowed to spend $50,000 a day on marketing on Facebook, on Google Adwords, on Instagram–I don’t know if there’s enough product in the country,” said Green Roads co-founder in a recent interview with Inc. magazine. “We’re not at our full potential today, not even close.”
The new farm bill comes after years of scientific research supporting hemp-derived CBD as an effective medicinal supplement. In addition to modifying the legality of CBD oil, the 2018 Farm Bill allocates billions of dollars in subsidies to farmers, bans the slaughter and sale of dog and cat meat, and bolsters farmer markets across the country. For more information on the 2018 Farm Bill, click here.