2018 US Farm Bill: An overview and what it means for the hemp industry

2018 US Farm Bill: An overview and what it means for the hemp industry

THE HISTORY YOU DIDN’T KNOW
For years, it was a major American crop, used for rope, clothing, and paper. In the early 1900s, hemp was erroneously lumped in with its cousin marijuana, which was facing more stringent regulation. In 1957, amid an anti-marijuana hysteria, hemp was banned as a Schedule 1 substance by the Federal Government.

 

THE HISTORY YOU DIDN’T KNOW
For years, it was a major American crop, used for rope, clothing, and paper. In the early 1900s,
hemp was erroneously lumped in with its cousin marijuana, which was facing more stringent regulation. In 1957, amid an anti-marijuana hysteria, hemp was banned as a Schedule 1 substance by
the Federal Government.


TODAY
The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill lifts all restrictions on industrial hemp cultivation from a Federal
level, allowing for the full return of this important American crop. Further, by redefining hemp to
include its “extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives,” Congress has made it clear that hemp-derived
products, such as CBD, are not considered controlled substances.

WHAT IS HEMP?
Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, but specifically refers to strains of the
cannabis plant that lack enough THC to create any psychotropic effects.


HEMP VS. MARIJUANA
Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant family, cannabis, but are
different in many ways — similar to how lemons and grapefruits are both citrus fruits, but are genetically very different. From a legal standpoint, hemp must have less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive
component that gets you high). Marijuana contains higher levels of THC, which is why marijuana
can get you high, but hemp can’t.


HEMP AND YOUR HEALTH
Hemp contains a variety of phytocannabinoids (phyto = plant), one of
which is cannabidiol, best known as CBD. Our bodies also produce cannabinoids called endocannabinoids (endo = within), which support the proper function of several key operations, including
the digestive system, central nervous system, and even your immune system.

HEMP: GREAT FOR PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES
Since the passing of the 2014 Federal Farm Bill, a majority of states have legalized hemp cultivation. Within those states, hemp has had wide-ranging benefits.

Did you know?
There are over 100 US municipalities with the word hemp in their name - an indication of how prevalent hemp has been in America’s history.

GREAT FOR FARMERS:
• Hemp requires little to no use of toxic pesticides or herbicides, making it a clean and safe crop to grow. It also grows well in a variety of climates and gives nutrients back to the soil in which it’s grown.
• Young people are seeing a viable future in hemp, which could help save family farms.
• Acreage has already increased by 600%, from 3,933 acres in 2014 to 23,343 in 2017.
• Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill means that hemp farmers may now finally access needed crop insurance and fully participate in USDA programs for certification and competitive grants. This is a huge win for farmers.

GREAT FOR RETAILERS:
• Products like CBD, hemp seed oil and hemp protein are hot. The hemp industry has surpassed $2B in consumer sales ($820M in 2017 alone). Independent health food stores, in particular, have benefitted from this growth.

GREAT FOR CONSUMERS:
• Industrial hemp is being used in hundreds of different applications including consumer textiles, personal care, industrial components and health supplements like CBD.
• US hemp employment has surged to 185,000 full-time employees. By 2020, it’s expected to grow to over a quarter of a million jobs, outpacing manufacturing in many states.
• Hemp-derived products are used by a wide range of consumers, from athletes to pet owners to aging seniors.