For the entire CBD industry, the long wait finally came to an end in 2018 when the 2018 Farm Bill, which contains a section that legalizes hemp production was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.

Well+Good’s 2019 Wellness Trends predicted that the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill will affect everything. From your morning coffee to your skin regimen, this bill will set the stage for CBD to go big-time and will also pave the way for hemp to break through the mainstream. In no time,  a huge wave of new CBD oriented products will be introduced to the market.

Under This Bill, Are all CBD products legal?

Well, not exactly.

What should come to mind when talking about the legality of CBD products is the distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp. While CBD products produced from industrial hemp will no longer be considered as a Schedule I substance under the new provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products that come from marijuana, even if THC content is less than 0.3 percent is still considered to be federally illegal. Also, when it comes to the use of CBD in cosmetics, supplements, and food, the FDA will still have the final say about these matters.

Buying CBD products will also be regulated by each state even if new federal guidelines now exist under the new 2018 Farm Bill. Every state is still free and can create their own regularity framework around industrial hemp.

How are the farmers affected by the 2018 Farm Bill?

Ever since the 2014 Farm Bill opened up state-regulated programs for industrial hemp (cannabis plants containing 0.3% or less THC), the farmers of Kentucky have been at the forefront of planting and producing quality industrial hemp. Since the tobacco industry production has fallen by almost 90% over the last century, the Kentucky farmers knew that hemp could be their new cash crop. And according to industry analysts, they estimated that in the United States alone, hemp-derived compound cannabidiol or CBD will be worth more than $600 million for this year alone.

US Market for Hemp-Derived CBD as Projected by the Brightfield Group

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp farmers will now be eligible to insure their crops. Transfer of crop products and CBD for consumers across state lines will now be easier. The 2018 Farm Bill will also explicitly remove industrial hemp and its extracts from Schedule I substance of the Controlled Substance Act, where it might be interpreted as marijuana.

While it is true that the new Farm Bill establishes hemp as an agricultural commodity, the power to regulate over hemp cultivation will be shared by the states and the federal government.  Each state will have to submit their monitoring cultivation programs to the USDA for approval.

There is also another provision in the 2018 Farm Bill that prohibits people with drug-related cases and felonies on their records from planting and producing hemp for 10 years following their convictions.

How does the 2018 Farm Bill Affect the Future of CBD?

As a whole, the 2018 Farm Bill will ease the uncertainties that swirl around the CBD landscape and it will greatly help the legitimacy of CBD advance to the next level. “There’s still a lot of confusion around CBD, and the Farm Bill adds an extra layer of clarification, spelling it out will be really helpful in making adjacent industries, like manufacturers and retailers, more comfortable and excited about CBD.”  Says Cannabis Feminist Jessica Assaf, co-founder of forthcoming hemp CBD brand and education platform Prima

According to Laurel Myers, COO of Prima, even with the new Farm Bill in place, we should not expect a drastic change when it comes to CBD. In fact, she warns that we should be prepared for a slow change instead. “The Farm Bill is a big and important step, but there’s certainly a long road ahead to having really meaningful regulation in this industry,” Myers says.

Daniel Shortt, a cannabis industry attorney agreed and seconded what Laurel Myers said about slow change that will be brought about by the 2018 Farm Bill. When Shortt was interviewed last year, this is what he said: “It’s important to know what ingredients are in your CBD and what extraction method is being used. Companies out there are trying to be transparent, and consumers can steer the market with their pocketbooks until we have more regulations.”

The bottom line is, with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, we should expect that the market for CBD products will become a little bit crowded. This is good news. But it also means that a little bit more understanding about hemp and hemp-derived products should also now be a priority.

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