December 12, 2018 - President Donald Trump has signed hemp legalization into law! The 2018 Farm Bill immediately removes hemp – defined as cannabis below 0.3% THC – from the Controlled Substances Act. The change also applies to all hemp derivatives such as extracts including CBD and other cannabinoids.
Federal drug authorities will have to treat hemp like any other agricultural commodity, such as wheat or potatoes, and hemp farmers will no longer face legal or regulatory burdens of being classified as an illegal drug, such as difficulty getting crop insurance or barriers to getting loans.
Hemp producers holding cultivation licenses in the 42 states with existing pilot programs won’t see an immediate change. Those state laws will remain in effect until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has time to review the state regulations to decide which pass muster.
The USDA must come up with national hemp regulations “as expeditiously as practicable,” an uncertain timeframe. The national plan must include procedures for checking THC content and plans to destroy plants that test “hot.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration retains authority over foods, drugs and cosmetics. That means that while CBD is legal in Jan. 1, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is legal to add hemp or CBD to food products or dietary supplements.
States, territories and Indian tribes have no deadline to submit hemp-regulation plans to the USDA. But once a plan is submitted, the USDA has 60 days to approve or reject it.
The USDA has one year to study progress in the 42 states and “determine the economic viability of the domestic production and sale of industrial hemp.” Those findings will then be presented to Congress. No state will be allowed to intercept or impound hemp products, but hemp entrepreneurs caution that the industry must now follow the new overseers of the hemp plant and its products, the USDA and the FDA.
This a major development for our industry, and only the beginning for the reintroduction of this wonderful crop.
Yesterday, as long anticipated, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved GW Pharmaceutical’s Epidiolex, a cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two forms of epilepsy.
In an historic resolution, the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence just recommended that “preparations considered to be pure CBD should not be scheduled within the International Drug Control Conventions.”
Some key findings from the WHO:
Full reports from the WHO conference in Geneva can be found here.
The WHO confirms what we’ve been saying all along: CBD should not be treated as a controlled substance. Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill with the Senate’s pro-hemp language will ensure the full legalization of hemp extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives such as hemp-derived CBD. Please send an email today to your Members of Congress to urge them to permanently legalize hemp and hemp-derived CBD.
Game-changing news from Washington, DC…
In a town where it seems like Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything, common ground has been found in the hemp fields.
Friday, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined his often-adversary U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in co-sponsoring S.2667, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. At a home state press conference, Schumer argued it was time for the DEA to get off the hemp farm – that hemp should be permanently removed from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act.
A report card of sorts grading hemp's impact on Kentucky showed these scores:
Eighty-one new full-time jobs. More than $16.7 million in gross product sales. And $7.5 million for farmers.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles included these figures from last year in an April 24 letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul calling hemp's economic impact "significant."
"My goal is to make Kentucky an epicenter for hemp farmers and processors," Quarles wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained this week by Courier Journal.
He said he wants Kentucky to "have a head start in the race against competitors in other states," as he anticipates Congress will remove the crop from the list of federally controlled substances. McConnell is pushing for this legislative change to remove a barrier inhibiting the versatile plant some call marijuana's kissing cousin. This would clear up confusion about whether its products are or aren't legal.
McConnell was key to the federal "2014 Farm Bill" that gave states the power to allow industrial hemp and to test the market to see if consumers would buy its products — which range from "super-food" seeds to clothing and cannabidiol or CBD oils used to treat headaches. The Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol — a psychoactive compound better known as THC — was limited to 0.3, a negligible amount that won't allow for a buzz.
In Kentucky, hemp can only be grown with the approval of state agriculture officials while it remains a controlled substance. Quarles said other states have called for help modeling their program after the one Kentucky uses.
See whole story here
On April 12 2018, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the bipartisan Hemp Farming Act of 2018 along with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). This bill provides the best opportunity yet to legalize hemp farming in the USA. Listen to his floor speech by clicking below.
Leader McConnell stated "I am introducing new legislation that will modernize federal law.. and empowering American farmers to explore this promising new market"
Leader McConnell indicated that the bill will move regulatory authority to the USDA and states and remove it from the DEA. Some of the other details include:
We applaud Sen. McConnell, Sen. Wyden and Sen. Merkley for their leadership and urge all senators to support the bill.
AgTech Scientific met with the Bourbon County board at their monthly meeting in October 2017 to discuss the purchase of 10 acres of land plus the option of an additional 10 acres in the county business park. CSO Brian King made the presentation to the board including the discussion of all incentives. The board voted unanimously to move forward with the project.
The AgTech Directors went on to state, "We are very appreciative of the entire board's support, community acceptance and are looking forward to moving into our wonderful new home."