2018 Farm Bill ends era of hemp prohibition

Jonathan Miller
U.S. Hemp Roundtable
Hemp becomes a legal agricultural commodity with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill on Dec. 20.

The era of hemp prohibition is over. Effective immediately, hemp is permanently deemed a legal agricultural commodity, and popular products such as hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) can no longer be mistaken as controlled substances, like marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration now has no possible claim to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products.

This should give comfort to federally regulated institutions-- banks, merchant services, credit card companies, e-commerce sites and advertising platforms — to engage in commerce with the hemp and hemp product industry. An exciting, emerging, multi-billion-dollar hemp industry is now unleashed, providing economic opportunity to farmers and small businesses all across America.

We are deeply grateful to the bi-partisan group of Congressmen who brought us to this historic moment. First and foremost, we thank Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who showed extraordinary leadership in putting the full weight of his influence behind passage of the hemp provisions in the Farm Bill to provide opportunity to Kentucky farmers.

We are also grateful to Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul for their long-time leadership on the issue, to Rep. Jamie Comer for leading the effort in the House after setting the legalization process in motion as Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner; and to Reps. Bob Goodlatte, Earl Blumenauer, Jared Polis, and Thomas Massie for their
continuing strong support.

Finally, we appreciate the support from farm groups such as the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, as well as state Agriculture Commissioners, especially Kentucky’s Ryan Quarles.