Today the US takes a major step forward in cannabis reform! The 2018 Farm Bill legalizes industrial hemp, and was just signed into law by President Trump. Industrial hemp will now be treated like an agricultural commodity, not a controlled substance. Our in-depth look at the hemp provisions in this new Farm Bill is available here.
Hemp has been booming in popularity these last few years and this latest development is only likely to do accelerate market growth. This is in large part due to the increased interest in cannabidiol (CBD) derived from industrial hemp. With reform comes regulation. We expect the Food and Drug Administration to start reevaluating hemp-derived food products, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and drugs. It may take some time for the FDA to actually approve a hemp-derived product, but that day is coming a lot faster in light of this Bill. You can read more about cannabis and the FDA here:
- DEA Reschedules FDA-Approved CBD
- GW Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study for Cannabis FDA Approval?
- What does the FDA Really Think About Medical Marijuana?
As this Bill just passed, we plan to watch carefully how things develop. Will businesses selling Hemp-CBD now be able to obtain federal trademark protections? How long until California rethinks it’s much maligned CBD-FAQs? If industrial hemp is going to be more widely distributed, what does that mean in terms of product liability? Will other states or even the feds follow Indiana’s guidance on Hemp-CBD labeling? Does hemp legalization mean that US companies can finally enter the international cannabis market?
These are just a few of the questions we’ll continue to write about in this new era of legal industrial hemp. And there will be many more. Even with this new legislation, hemp law will always be complicated due to its close proximity to marijuana. The two both come from the cannabis plant after all. Despite the uncertainty, one thing does seem clear: 2019 is going to be the year of hemp!