2018 Farm Bill Passes Into Law

Hemp Goes Legal!

From Felony to Pharmaceutical

By Gypsea Lacey

Marijuana and hemp have a long history in the roots of our nation, from an  organically occurring weed, to felony drug charge, to the ongoing fight to regain freedom to use herbal medicines. Our first president of the United States grew and smoked marijuana. Succeeding presidents dabbled themselves in the recreational and medicinal usage of the plant. Later, the Marijuana Tax act of 1937 effectively made the plant, including hemp, illegal as a Schedule 1 drug, residing alongside other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Fast forward to today, approaching year 2019, how far have we actually come? Where does this magical medicinal plant stand, legally in today’s world?

The Farm Bill of 2014 created a framework for the legal cultivation by states of “industrial hemp” creating the “Hemp Pilot Programs”. It legitimized industrial hemp research, and enabled the federal funding of USDA research grants. Broadly speaking, the 2014 Farm Bill only protected cultivators registered under a state’s hemp research pilot program, who could cultivate cannabis containing no more than 0.3% of THC, and who met the requirements imposed by their state’s department of agriculture. This farm bill is expiring and has left farmers and consumers alike eager for a finalized bill.

Up until now, Hemp and CBD have been walking a tightrope of legality. Now, with the passing of the 2018 bill, Hemp farmers and CBD-related companies will be liberated to produce and distribute medicines nation wide, entirely exempt from previous legal reprocussions. CBD or cannabidiol is derived from the cannabis plant but has none of the psychotropic effects of THC. In the 2018 Farm Bill, there is language that amends the Controlled Substances Act and legalizes Hemp and Hemp extracts, like CBD. The summation of the bill basically states that it is expected to be removed from the DEA’s schedule 1 list to schedule 5, which is the lowest level and would lift the DEA’s restrictions. Hemp and CBD will be federally legal! Already, we are seeing results of research testing, where back in June the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD treatment for epilepsy, and the US Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cleared it for prescriptions in September, classifying it as a Schedule V substance. It’s currently available by prescription in all 50 states.

We can expect to see a large margin of growth in CBD production and sales following the passing of this bill, estimated at 40x its current market.

Misinformation tends to travel faster than truth. Common misconceptions regarding the plant have detoured patients on the sole basis of lack of information. Because the DEA previously considered cannabis to be highly dangerous, proper lab studies typically occurred on animal patients, which can be misleading due to the difference of proteins, receptors and species variability. Moving forward, with the ability of proper research and funding of such, finally patients will know exactly what they are getting from this prescription drug, including how it is processed, how it is sourced, and the precise measurements for dosage of medicine. With this research as public knowledge, consumers can trade their overpriced, side-effect ridden medicines with natural herbal supplements. More research on the specific benefits of CBD  can be found at: http://www.projectcbd.org.

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