What the US Farm Bill Means for CBD

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Why the passing of the bill is so important

If you live in the UK, you may not have paid much attention to the news last December that President Trump had signed the 2018 US Farm Bill into law but its passing was a cause for celebration for those in the CBD industry.

The Farm Bill is renewed every four years and for the first time ever, it has legalised the growth, distribution, and sale of industrialised hemp, allowing it to be “cultivated for any use"—including the production and extraction of CBD. That means Industrial Hemp and any hemp derivative is no longer on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as it’s now been legally separated from marijuana (which still falls under the CSA) and now comes under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture.

The Bill outlined strict regulations for all CBD products derived from Hemp:

  • The Hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC (the compound that is responsible for the psychoactive ‘high’)

  • The Hemp must adhere to shared US state-federal regulations

  • The Hemp must be grown by a properly licensed grower

Hemp CBD is already available in a range of wellness products and the new law opens the door for massive growth and the new regulations should also help to ensure that quality products are produced and sold. With a market that’s projected to be worth $22 billion by 2022 and the Farm Bill now clarifying the US Government’s stance on Hemp it does change the picture, and we are now likely to see companies who may have been reluctant to enter the market before, start to develop CBD infused products across all categories.

This opens the floodgates for the industry to grow very rapidly and scale on a national level.
— Bethany Gomez, The Brightfield Group

The UK Market

While almost all cannabinoids are controlled substances under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD, or cannabidiol is not. That means that CBD, which is extracted from industrial hemp - a legal cannabinoid - can be sold as CBD oil in the UK but the Home Office states that it can contain no more than 0.2% of THC which must not be easily separated from the oil.

So whilst the US Farm Bill doesn’t directly impact the UK, what we as consumers can expect is that a greater choice of Hemp CBD-infused products as more companies have the confidence to enter the market.

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