Hemp Has Been Legalized…Now What?
Hemp History Week joins forces with U.S. Hemp Roundtable to continue grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of hemp farming.
Introducing guest blog author, U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a non-profit advocacy organization working hard for hemp on the State and Federal levels. Hemp History Week is partnering with U.S. Hemp Roundtable on this year’s Take Action! campaign, focusing on driving constituents to communicate with and meet state legislators at their offices.
The 2018 Farm Bill’s Impact on the Hemp Industry
Last December, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law – officially legalizing hemp farming in the U.S. by removing hemp’s erroneous inclusion in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This monumental passage has great impacts on the industry:
• Hemp prohibition is behind us, and the plant is forever deemed an agricultural commodity, no longer classified as a controlled substance, such as heroin and methamphetamine.
• Congress has removed popular hemp products from the CSA, such as hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), by redefining hemp to include its “extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives.” This eliminates the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) ability to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products. Federally regulated institutions like banks, merchant services, credit card companies, e-commerce sites and advertising platforms can comfortably conduct commerce with the hemp agricultural and hemp manufacturing industry.
• Access to much needed crop insurance and USDA grant programs are now available to hemp farmers.
• State and Tribal governments may impose separate restrictions or requirements on hemp cultivation and the sale of hemp products – however, they cannot interfere with the interstate transport of raw hemp or hemp products.
• The FDA will continue to exercise jurisdiction over the regulation of ingestible and topical hemp products. We applaud the agency’s continued efforts to crack down on bad actors who undermine the industry through misguided marketing claims. While we are concerned about non-binding statements made by the FDA that have led some state and local officials to question the legality of the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD, we are hopeful that we can work with the agency to clarify that CBD does not pose a risk to public health and should not be withheld from Americans who count on it for their health and wellness.
The Road Ahead
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is taking a direct approach to ensure that hemp and hemp-derived products are permanently legal in all 50 states. While the 2018 Farm Bill permanently removed hemp and hemp products from the list of controlled substances, some states remain hesitant to join the cause, fearing over-regulation by local and federal agencies. We believe that hemp supporters across the country are powerful enough to quell those fears, and that is why we have developed a simple platform for grassroots advocacy support. Advocating on behalf of hemp in your state is as simple as visiting our new State Action Center, selecting your state, entering your information, and hitting send. Your state senators and representatives will receive your message with the click of a button. So voice your support for hemp, and your legislators will support hemp too!
The hemp industry has never been more united, with the Roundtable taking major leaps in 2018 building relationships with hemp’s leading grassroots organizations, and for 2019, we have formed a close partnership with Hemp History Week becoming their official advocacy partner! Hemp History Week and the Roundtable are jointly launching the Take Action! component of this years’ campaign. Stay tuned to learn more about how you can Take Action! with us this spring!
Launched in early 2017, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable is a coalition of dozens of hemp companies – representing every link of the product chain, from seed to final sale – and all of the industry’s major national grassroots organizations.
We have already achieved our primary mission: securing passage of bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Congress that established hemp federally as an agricultural commodity, permanently removing it from regulation as a controlled substance. Our efforts included an aggressive, targeted, grass-tops lobbying campaign that brought leading farmers and business executives to Washington, with complimentary grassroots efforts that resulted in hundreds of thousands of targeted emails sent to Members of Congress.