2018 Farm Bill

What is the 2018 Farm Bill?

The 2018 Farm Bill was a legal instrument into law on the 12th of December in 2018. The bill’s main thrust had to do with legislation and control of Hemp. To put it into simpler terms, the 2018 Farm Bill was a set of laws that dealt with the cultivation of Hemp. Senator Mitch McConnell, a very influential member of the US Senate, mainly championed the bill. One thing that some people may not know about the bill is the fact that the bill had bipartisan backing. This means both republicans and democrats backed the bill. If you follow American politics, these situations are very rare.

What Does the Bill Say?

We certainly have to make clear that the 2018 Farm Bill brought about some instrumental changes regarding how Hemp is treated by federal law. According to the USDA, here is what the 2018 Farm Bill contained. 

The first thing that was part of the 2018 Farm Bill was the redefinition of Hemp. The bill defined Hemp in terms of species and designated the hemp species as the Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp also had to fit within the defined THC limit, 0.3 percent. Not anything else with THC levels above that is defined as Hemp according to the 2018 Farm Bill. 

The second part and a principal part of the bill ensured that Hemp would no longer be regulated under the controlled Substances Act. The removal of Hemp from the Controlled substances act meant that Hemp could be cultivated legally, Hemp could be possessed legally, and the distribution of Hemp could also be done legally. However, the provisions only paved the way for the three actions identified. The 2018 Farm Bill can be described as the groundwork for the legalization of cultivation, possession, and distribution of Hemp. Other legal steps are required. 

The final part of the 2018 Farm Bill had to do with the delegation for hemp control to Indian tribes within their borders. This meant that Indian tribes, with the backing of the 2018 Farm Bill, regulate the production and distribution of hemp products within their borders.

Did the 2018 Farm Bill legalize Hemp products?

After defining what the 2018 Farm Bill stands for, the next question you are probably asking is doing the 2018 farm Bill legalizes Hemp products. The answer is partly yes if a report by the FDA is anything to go by. Since 1970, Hemp and all other forms of cannabis have been controlled by the Controlled Substances Act. The act made possession, cultivation, and distribution/ 

The legislation made all forms of cannabis is illegal. The 2018 farm Bill defined Hemp and separated it from other forms of cannabis. This meant that it allowed for the free distribution, experimentation, and production of hemp-based products on a legal, commercial scale. In a way, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products. The main condition that came with the legalization of hemp products is that the hemp products had to have a THC content of less than 0.3 percent. Anything that surpassed that THC level was described as marijuana.

Although cultivation of Hemp was made legal federally, the 2018 Farm Bill also clearly stated that for anyone to be able to cultivate, distribute and produce hemp-based products, they had to acquire a license. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, the licensing system had to be crafted by both the state and the US Department of Agriculture. Anyone found violating this legislation could face prosecution.

Yes, hemp products were legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, but several conditions have to be followed as part of the legislation.

States That Are Legal to Cultivate Hemp

At a federal level, the 2018 Farm bill made the cultivation of Hemp legal. The bill outlined that this could only be done under a state-sanctioned framework under a state-sanctioned framework. Some states have not come up with or implemented a hemp cultivation framework. This means that in these states, the cultivation of Hemp is illegal. 

According to Hempfoundation, eleven states allow for the cultivation of Hemp. Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Vermont, Washington, and Oregon. Most of the other states have shown interest in changing the legal status of hemp cultivation. It is only a matter of time before the list grows extensively. 

CBD and 2018 Farm Bill

CBD and 2018 Farm Bill

It is easy to conclude that the 2018 Farm Bill made CBD legal. CBD is derived from Hemp, and with Hemp being legalized, most people assumed that CBD was automatically legalized. We cannot overemphasize the extent of benefits of CBD, and it is not a wonder why people would want it also to be legalized. CBD is still part of the list of substances referred to as Schedule 1 substances to set the record straight. Schedule 1 substances are illegal. 

According to Brookings, there has been a recent provision, though, over the years, that has given some wiggle room for producers of CBD products. The conflation between CBD and the 2018 Farm Bill is to thank. The legal provision allows the legal use of CBD extracted from Hemp to be processed. The provisions are clear that the CBD should always be derived from Hemp produced according to the guidelines of the Farm Bill. This means that the sources of CBD used in the production of CBD products have to be derived from Hemp that complies with the guidelines set by Congress through the 2018 Farm Bill.

Learn more about CBD here.


One clear thing about the 2018 Farm Bill is that it was a win for all the stakeholders. There are still some steps that can be taken to make the operation overall perfect, but as things stand, the 2018 Farm Bill was one of the best things that have happened to the CBD industry and the hemp industry as a whole. 

The stakeholders need to further disseminate information about the 2018 Farm Bill to ensure everyone is educated on the issue.

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