Farm Bill, which effectively legalized hemp and its derivatives, became law in December 2018. The bill generated great interest both in and out of the agricultural sector, prompting many people to join the hemp community and plant their roots in the newly legal industry.

Indeed, policymakers, farmers, and the general public show an increasing interest in hemp courtesy of the Farm Bill. However, it is crucial to understand how this piece of legislation defines this product. In fact, the Farm Bill’s definition of hemp has a great impact on its growth and marketing.

How the 2018 Farm Bill Defines Hemp

The 2018 Farm Bill is more accommodative, allowing broad cultivation of hemp and the transfer of hemp products across state lines for both private and commercial uses. However, it does have certain restrictions.

As per section 10113 of the bill, hemp cannot contain more than 0.03 percent THC. Cannabis over this maximum THC threshold is marijuana, which falls outside the jurisdiction of this law. Individuals and businesses must ensure their hemp products satisfy the requirements of the law before growing, marketing, or distributing them.

Additionally, individuals and hemp businesses must understand the shared responsibility between each state and the federal regulatory power before venturing into the growing and production of hemp. To be clear, states can only license hemp after receiving approval from the Secretary of the USDA. If the state does not receive approval, the production and marketing of hemp and its products remain illegal in that particular state.

Finally, the Farm Bill outlines specific violations of the federal hemp law. Such activities include growing hemp without proper licensing and producing hemp products with more than the approved 0.03 percent THC. The law also goes a step further to outline possible punishments for violators and explains how such violators could become compliant again.

Focus on Hemp Research

Like its predecessor, the 2018 Farm Bill lays focus on further hemp research under Section 7605. This section of the law outlines the protections for hemp research, stating the conditions necessary for such research. It also places hemp under the Critical Agricultural Materials Act, which recognizes the importance and diversity of the hemp plant.

The 2018 Farm Bill effectively expanded the field for hemp production and marketing. In doing, it increased hemp market potential and attracts interest from individuals, businesses, farmers, and policymakers. Hemp could just be the next big thing for US farmers.