Yesterday, the House/Senate Conference Committee for the 2018 Farm Bill sat down for the first time to try to hash out the differences between the two versions of the bill, with the hopes of passage by September 30, 2018, when the 2014 Farm Bill expires.
Under the Controlled Substance Act, hemp is currently listed under Schedule I, a federally controlled substance, in the same legal category as heroin and LSD. The bill would not legalize marijuana for recreational or medical uses, but would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act legalizing the plant federally and allowing it to be cultivated, processed, and sold as an agricultural product. Individual states would be authorized to draft their own hemp regulations without fear of the DEA’s interference. Hemp is commonly used in clothing, food, lotion, beauty products, and most recently popularized for its uses in products made with cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid that can be extracted from cannabis in both its marijuana and hemp forms. If the 2018 Farm bull passes, it would include the legalization of the hemp derived version of CBD.
If passed, the 2018 Farm Bill would remove restrictions and allow farmers to grow hemp domestically without the fear of violating the law. Proponents of the legalization of marijuana still have a ways to go, but the legalization of hemp would certainly be a step in the right direction.