While Farm Bills are nothing new to the US Congress, the 2018 version offered a relatively simple addition that launched the CBD industry in America. What was designed as a simple extension of the nutritional and agricultural policies established in previous Farm Bills for the next five years, the addition of cannabis and mainly industrial hemp has led to the establishment of the CBD industry, which has grown exponentially since its passage.
The 2018 Farm Bill created the first significant change in federal law governing cannabis plants in decades. In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act made all cannabis plants illegal to grow and sell. Although it was not until 1970 with the Controlled Substances Act that formally made all cannabis plants, which includes industrial hemp illegal at the federal level. However, under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), hemp or industrial hemp as it is often called was legal to cultivate under very restrictive conditions. The limited use of industrial hemp under the law meant that for many years little to no effort was made to use the cannabidiol or CBD that is part of the hemp for any real purpose. That all changed with the 2018 Farm Bill.
Basically, the bill allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp on a broad, far less restrictive scale. But it does so much more than that.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill did change virtually all aspects of the hemp industry, there are still some restrictions in place.
THC Restrictions: No hemp-derived product can contain more than 0.3% THC. This actually includes all cannabis-derived products like CBD. By limiting the THC, it restricts the psychotropic element that cannabis and, most notably, marijuana is most related to.
State Control: It is up to each state under Section 10113 of the 2018 Farm Bill to regulate the hemp within its state borders. That means while some states have very loose rules and regulations, others are much tighter. As long as they comply with the established federal regulations, it is considered legal for states to control the production, transportation, and sale of hemp-derived products.
Punishments: Any actions that fall outside of federal law may still be punished by the federal government. This includes the production, transportation, and sale of any products with over 0.3% hemp. Transportation of such products over state lines is considered a federal offense.
Basically, while the 2018 Farm Bill opened an entirely new industry in the US, there are still restrictions that do not provide it with the same freedoms enjoyed by traditional products, such as corn or tomatoes. It should be noted that research on hemp products was greatly expanded under the 2018 Farm Bill. This means that far more products may be developed than just those containing CBD. As long as they abide by the restrictions, the possibilities for the agricultural industry are considerable.