December 20, 2018 hemp history was made when the current standing President signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Otherwise known as the 2018 Farm Bill.
But What Does It Mean For Hemp?
Simply stated, HEMP IS ALMOST LEGAL! Industrial hemp has long been outlawed along with it's cousin Marijuana. For years confusion has loomed over the difference between the two plants. Both a part of the Cannabis family and though related they are not the same. Marijuana is crafted to exploit the THC, the main cannabinoid in psychoactive cannabis which makes people “feel high.” While Industrial Hemp has less than 0.3% THC, will not get you "high" and is cultivated for foods, medicine, textiles and more.
Yet, up until 12/20/18 it has sat on the DEA's list as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I substances face the strictest penalties for use and are considered to have no benefit to humanity, despite the numerous benefits of all forms of cannabis. The signing of the 2018 Farm Bill changes that and completely removes hemp and anything made from hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
So Time to Celebrate, Right!?
Not wrong, just not yet...Though Industrial Hemp has been relieved of it's identity crisis to Marijuana it may still be sometime before hemp can have it's day in the sun. Now under the control and regulation of the Department of Agriculture we wait until the USDA finalizes it's hemp policies. Until then the rules set forth in the 2014 Farm Bill will continue to apply.
The definition of industrial hemp will remain unchanged from the 2014 Farm Bill. Only cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC will qualify as legal industrial hemp.