The 2018 farm bill has been massive news and rightly so. Legalization of industrial hemp has been all over the news for the last few months, and CBD companies are popping out of the woodwork like crazy, but there are different stories coming from different Government branches and agencies. Over the next couple of minutes, we are going to take a look at the history of Hemp, the 2018 Farm Bill, what is included, and see if we can figure out the mess that is currently taking place around the country.
2018 Farm Bill: The History of Hemp
For over half a century, thanks mainly to an idiotic unfounded law created in 1937 with no basis in reality or science, possession of any Cannabis products, including Hemp was illegal in the United States. The assertions of Harry J Aslinger, with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, created an illusion that there was an epidemic of pot smoking going on. With no basis in anything other than the fears created by this blowhard, the Government set its sights on the prohibition of Cannabis across the board. From day 1, the American Medical Association fought against the bill as the assumptions of addiction, the violent outbursts it was being blamed, and for rampant claims of overdosing were unfounded in medical fact.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the start of the downfall of one of the greatest cash crops the United States had ever know. Plants that had been used in the construction of the Mayflower, in its ropes and sails, were now against the law. Fast forward to the second world war when the Governments supply from the Philippines was taken out of commission by the Japanese, the US Government turned to farmers at home once again to bring in the crops. Wartime over and we are back to square one, and Reefer Madness kicks in with a vengeance. In the 1960s, Cannabis was included as a Schedule 1 Narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act. What started as a way for Aslinger to get more money for his agency has turned into the number 1 reason that people have been thrown in jail for the last 70 years.
From President Richard Nixon forward, every politician in the United States has known that there is no reason at all to keep Marijuana illegal, but its a great way to rounding people up and throwing them in jail so they kept it in the bad books.
The Meaning of The 2018 Farm Bill
This bill has been a long time coming, championed by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, it is a step in the right direction for Industrial Hemp products. Fibers that can be used for building cheaply, and substitution steel with a higher tolerance for damage, Hemp is useful for thousands of applications. While it is part of the Cannabis family, Industrial Hemp is low in THC — the compound in the plant that gives the euphoric feeling.
The Farm Bill created a distinction between Industrial Hemp and Marijuana, removing the former from the Controlled Substances Act and handing the crop from the purview of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Department of Agriculture. This was an expansion from a 2014 pilot program that had advocates of Hemp and CBD products around the country rejoicing. The act of essentially decriminalizing the growth of this plant has opened up doors for various different industries, one of which being the Cannabidiol (CBD) market.
While we are all out here rejoicing, however, the Food & Drug Administration is still trying to crack down hard on the industry. They have a single product approved for market use, Epillodex, and because they classify Cannabidiol in that product as an “active drug,” they are looking to crack down on everything else.
The FDA has a long history of overreach, conflating nonexistent problems and creating regulatory burdens where none are necessary, so this is to be expected. They seem to believe that because something contains a chemical composition, they can regulate it and put a patent on it. Unfortunately for them, however, you can’t put a trademark on part of a plant any more than you can claim that the hydrogen in water is designed for bomb making. Anyone who has followed the Vaping Industry knows that the FDA will stop at nothing to make sure it gets its user fees from anyone in business but the Farm Bill gives them no rights to interfere.
Is CBD Legal?
According to the Farm Bill, if a Hemp product contains less than 0.3% THC, it can be on the market, plain and simple. While the FDA can kick and scream all it wants in the coming months and years, as of right now, it has no skin in the game but beware because it will be coming for its piece of the pie.