This last Tuesday the United States Senate voted on the Agriculture Improvement Act and it passed with an impressive 87 to 13. This massive legislation includes a variety of topics that vary from anything like agriculture research to trade, rural development, farm subsidies, food and nutrition programs, and tons more. However, the main thing that this legislation covers is the new changes made to the 2018 Farm Bill.
If Trump Passes Hemp Could Be Legal
This year’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill addresses changes to the federal food aid program known as SNAP. It also covers forestry and conservation, crop insurance, and measures aimed to help farmers that are suffering from the fallout of Trump’s trade war with China.
However, the most important thing that the bill covers is provision to lift the ban on hemp. This bill authorizes hemp production and research. This bill is usually renewed every half a decade and it has always been a highly controversial piece of legislation. And, this is why the bill failed to pass when it was voted on in September.
Surprisingly enough, one of the reasons the bill failed to pass in September was not because of provision made to hemp, but rather the changes that the bill made on the SNAP program. The SNAP program is basically a federal food aid program also known as food stamps. 40 million Americans rely on food stamps for aid and Trump had pushed for stricter requirements making it tougher for individuals to receive aid.
However, things changed when the Democrats regained control of the House during the midterm elections. It is already well known that the changes made to the 2014 Farm Bill legalized hemp in 35 states, but the changes made to the 2018 bill will take things even further if Trump chooses to pass it.
The Hemp Industry Will Never Be The Same
If the 2018 Farm Bill does get passed it is going to label hemp as a supplemental and alternative crop. This would virtually allow federal agriculture research into hemp cultivation and production. It is true that 35 of the US states already legalized hemp, but this 2018 Farm Bill would allow interstate commerce and completely resolve that current state of legalities surrounding hemp.
What’s even more impressive is that the bill will lift the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) on hemp. Back in 1970 hemp was listed as a controlled substance putting it in the same class as heroin and methamphetamine.
If this bill passes hemp will no longer be labeled a class one narcotic. However, it should be noted that in order for hemp-based products like extracts, seeds, acids, salts, oils, or isomers to be legally sold and possessed under this bill they need to contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. If the bill passes it will also give each state the control over regulating hemp cultivation, but what’s even more important is that it will give farmers access to federal crop insurance for the first time ever.
UPDATE: Congress just voted to legalize hemp