Intro to Hemp and CBD Legality – The 2014 Farm Bill | cbdMD - cbdMD Blog

Intro to Hemp and CBD Legality – The 2014 Farm Bill

Intro to Hemp and CBD Legality – The 2014 Farm Bill

Many potential CBD consumers wonder, “Is CBD oil legal?”

As of December, hemp and hemp-derived CBD are finally federally legal in the United States. Hooray for hemp!

That’s great news for farmers and families alike as hemp has proven to be one of the most versatile plants in the world.

Hemp stalks, seeds, and leaves are used for everything from skin and hair care products to hempcrete and biodiesel fuels.

It’s crazy to think about how long such a beneficial plant was kept under lock and key as a result of propaganda, misinformation, and misguided fear. But thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, we can finally reap the benefits of hemp and CBD nationwide.

But while the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and hemp-derived CBD legal on the federal level, it didn’t appear out of thin air.

We’ll take an in-depth look at the 2018 Farm Bill later in the week, but before that, it’s important to understand what led to the bill’s passing and Congress’s decision to remove hemp from the DEA’s “Schedule I” classification.

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Hemp legality and state pilot programs

The 2018 Farm Bill is just the most recent volume of the nation’s farm subsidy, nutritional assistance, and crop insurance regulations, which are usually updated every five years.

The previous Farm Bill, signed in 2014 by Barack Obama, removed some of the federal restrictions on growing industrial hemp, and allowed any state that had legalized hemp production to create hemp pilot programs designed to observe the benefits of growing industrial hemp.

This may have been seen as somewhat of a surprise to some, since the 2008 Farm Bill made no mention of hemp, and until 2014, any cultivation of the cannabis plant was federally illegal, regardless of the THC content.

But luckily, after many states had already legalized the production of industrial hemp, the US government decided it was time to find out just how useful hemp can be.

By allowing the creation of hemp pilot programs to study hemp without fear of losing federal grants or potentially being raided, the floodgates officially opened for the hemp industry.

The most prominent and successful hemp pilot programs took root in states you would expect like Colorado and Oregon, but surprisingly, states like Kentucky, Minnesota, and North Dakota also started pilot programs and became some of the nation’s largest hemp producers.

Additionally, the research done by these programs and the universities that were granted hemp research licenses has demonstrated how much hemp can do for our environment and economy.

Environment, economy, and consumer health

Hemp is what’s known as a bioaccumulator – meaning it absorbs harmful toxins in the ground which makes it effective at cleaning the soil.

This means farmers could plant hemp as a rotating crop to ensure their soil stays fertile and revitalized.

However, these hemp pilot programs didn’t just show the federal government how great hemp was for farming and consumer goods. They also demonstrated how hemp legality can help the United States compete in a booming global market.

In the US alone, the CBD and hemp industries raked in over $1 billion in 2018, with that number expected to grow to nearly $22 billion by 2022. But, countries like China are years ahead of us in terms of hemp production and market share.

Currently, China controls over one-third of the global hemp market, meaning many of the hemp-derived products currently sold in the United States are made with foreign, international hemp.

And because America is the world’s largest importer of consumer hemp goods, it’s important to know exactly where the hemp used for making these products comes from.

Since hemp is so good at getting heavy metals and other contaminants out of the soil, it needs to be carefully tested before being used in certain consumer products.

While the hemp used to clean soil should be safe to use for things like paper or biofuel, using it for items like beauty products or CBD oil could result in serious health concerns for consumers.

But because testing standards for things like pesticides and heavy metals aren’t the same in every country – or every state for that matter – it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting when you order hemp from overseas.

That’s one of the reasons the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills are so crucial.

In addition to allowing states to grow hemp, it also establishes federal guidelines so consumers can know that the hemp-derived products (like all-natural CBD oil) are safe.

And while it may be difficult to surpass China as the world’s leader in hemp production, if we can cut down on the amount of hemp we have to import by using USA organically-grown hemp, many would consider that a win.

Making progress

In the years since the 2014 Farm Bill was passed and signed into law, the American hemp industry has ballooned, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

As more states realize how impactful hemp can be for so many different industries, there’s no doubt that they will want to start growing their own hemp – and before you know it – America will be competing for a large piece of the global market.

And now, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December, hemp and CBD are sweeping the nation.

But as was said before, we’ll be taking a deep dive into exactly what the 2018 Farm Bill is and what it does later this week. Until then, it’s critical to see how things slowly changed and got where they are today.

Sometimes we think that laws and government action happen randomly, but when we see the years of research and gradual progress that go in to something like the federal legalization of hemp and CBD, it makes us appreciate it a little bit more.

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