The inclusion of “hemp” in the 2018 hemp bill has stirred a serious debate as people try to figure out what the immediate future of the industry holds. Although cannabis, specifically Cannabis sativa L, was used for many years by different communities for treating conditions such as migraines and arthritis, it remained illegal for years in most countries. Therefore, the 2018 hemp bill has introduced a “new” plant, and it will be interesting to see how the market unfolds. Here is a brief look at this bill
What is Hemp?
Before looking at the bill, it is important to step back and answer the question: “what exactly is hemp?” Since the 1990s, Cannabis Sativa L was classified as a controlled substance because it contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the component that makes cannabis psychotic.
The emergence of cannabis species with lower levels of THC and many benefits of different compounds are part of what informed the passing of the 2018 hemp bill. It is based on the argument that it is possible to have cannabis products with less or no THC. Simply put, people can enjoy the impressive benefits of cannabis without worrying of getting high.
The 2014 Farm Bill and 2018 Farm Bill
The cannabis industry got a shot in the arm when the US passed the 2014 farm bill, which allowed research, especially in academic and government departments to grow hemp for study. Further, the 2014 farm billgave the definition of industrial hemp. The bill indicated that industrial hemp should have THC threshold of 0.3% based on dry weight.
Enter the 2018 farm bill (commonly known as the hemp bill). This bill took the notion of cannabis a step ahead by legalizing hemp production as an agricultural product. This implies that cannabis was removed from the US list of controlled substances. Therefore, it opened the doors for more players to join the industry and start commercializing the product.
Further, the passing of the 2018 hemp bill added cannabis as a covered item under the crop insurance. Therefore, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation would be mandated to streamline further hemp related policies. The bill also mandated the secretary of agriculture to study different hemp-related pilot programs to establish economic viability in the market.
As the bill opens the space for hemp production, it is worth noting that the opportunity for growing it freely with other crops is still closed. Indeed, the bill has listed actions that would be seen as illegal. These include:
- Cultivating hemp without a license.
- Producing products with THC higher than 0.3%.
- The bill further indicates that hemp products, like all other supplements, must comply with FDA’s regulations.
What Businesses in the Hemp Industry Must Do
The summary of the 2018 hemp bill is that you are now free to join the high potential cannabis industry. But you need to understand that the bill is all-inclusive, meaning that its tentacles reach both growers and producers. So here is what you need to do to thrive in the cannabis industry under the bill.
- Make sure to only stock products that meet the threshold described in the 2018 hemp bill. Particularly, your product should always have THC levels of less than 0.3%.
- Because the hemp products are still subject to other FDA regulations, it implies that in addition to low THC levels, they should also be fit for human consumptions. This means the products should be free from heavy metals, bio-contaminants, and pesticides among other harmful components. One way to achieve all of these is subjecting products from your supplier to third party lab testing CBD.
Although the 2018 hemp bill has opened doors to a “new” world of cannabis, the regulations are stringent. Therefore, make sure to operate within the legal limitations and commit to delivering the best – high quality and secure hemp products.