The End of Hemp Prohibition!

The 45th President signed it into law the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 federal Farm Bill) marking the end of hemp prohibition!

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, passed the U.S. Senate on December 11 with a vote of 87-13 and the U.S. House of Representatives on December 12 with a vote of 369-47, and was signed into law on December 20, 2018. The new federal law took effect on January 1, 2019.

Over the past two years, AGHS worked pro-bono on the Hemp Farming Act of 2018,with the offices of Senator Ron Wyden, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul and Senator Jeff Merkley, the full language of which was eventually included in the 2018 federal Farm Bill.

Key Provisions of the Federal Hemp Bill

  1. Hemp as an agricultural commodity subject to federal regulation by USDA.

  2. Full removal of hemp, including derivates, extracts and cannabinoids of hemp, from the Controlled Substances Act definitions of ‘marihuana’ and ‘tetrahydrocannabinols

  3. State/Tribal Government primary regulatory authority through approval of a State/Tribal Plan

  4. Access to federal research funding under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 and the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977

  5. Access to federal crop insurance

Unwritten benefits provided for are access to banking and full plant organic certification.

What’s Next For Hemp?

While the new federal law should immediately alleviate some of the legal grey areas pilot program participants have faced, now legalized, hemp is a regulated agricultural commodity, subject to federal oversight by USDA. As such, USDA will engage in rulemaking to develop overall program regulations as well as the USDA Plan. Until USDA has finalized the program regulations and the USDA Plan and for up to one year thereafter program participants will still be operating under the agricultural pilot programs developed in their jurisdiction under the 2014 Farm Bill. Additionally, FDA maintains regulatory authority over products.

**Please note that the legality for the transportation of agricultural pilot program hemp, including agricultural pilot program hemp derived-CBD, has been clarified in the judicial victory of KaB, LLC v USPS, MLB 18-39 (2018), which will aid in the transition from the pilot programs to full legalization.

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