BigMike on The Hemp Farming Act of 2018

For all of us in the cannabis community, today is a day that will go down in history. President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, marking a watershed moment in our campaign to restore cannabis to fully legal status.

The Hemp Farming Act legalizes industrial hemp production at the federal level, which means that hemp and all its derived products — including CBD oil — will be treated the same by the United States Department of Agriculture as any other legal crop.

Today’s signing of the Farm Bill is not only a huge step forward for the cannabis industry, but will also be a boon to the U.S. economy as a whole. For the first time in close to a century, American farmers will be allowed to legally cultivate industrial hemp, which can be processed for use in literally thousands of products — from textiles, to bodycare products, to health foods and nutraceuticals.

The writing is on the wall: Complete cannabis reform is coming. The Hemp Farming Act is evidence that our elected officials understand the benefits of this incredible plant, and it’s only a matter of time until we see that reflected in our federal laws.

Today, I join you in celebrating this landmark legislation and the victory it represents for our community.

Post source Big Mike

President Trump Signs McConnell Hemp Bill into Law

WASHINGTON, DC (WBKO) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) praised President Trump for signing into law the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill). The measure contains the legislation – authored and championed by Majority Leader McConnell — that will empower farmers to expand cultivation of industrial hemp, a crop that has the potential to play a key role in the agricultural future of Kentucky and the nation.

Senator McConnell’s bill legalizes hemp as an agricultural commodity by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. It also gives states the opportunity to become the primary regulators of hemp production, allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and makes hemp eligible for crop insurance. This measure builds upon the hemp pilot programs, which Senator McConnell secured in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“With the stroke of his pen, President Trump has made it official. My bill legalizing industrial hemp is law. Now that the President has signed it, Kentucky‘s farmers can continue to lead the nation in the growing, processing and manufacturing of industrial hemp,” said Senator McConnell. “I am confident the ingenuity of Kentucky’s farmers and producers will find new and creative uses for this exciting crop. We are at the beginning of a new era, and I cannot wait to see what comes next. As Senate Majority Leader, I was proud to do my part to bring hemp back to Kentucky, and I look forward to continuing to support its bright future in the Bluegrass State.”

In collaboration with agriculture leaders in Kentucky and throughout the nation, Senator McConnell secured language in the 2014 Farm Bill to authorize hemp research pilot programs. He also used his position as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee to insert provisions in yearly appropriations bill to ensure that hemp produced from the pilot programs could be transported, processed, and marketed without interference from the federal government. Under the guidance of Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and his predecessor, now-U.S. Representative James Comer, these programs have allowed Kentucky farmers to both research the plant and to demonstrate its full potential. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill — which includes Senator McConnell’s Hemp Farming Act of 2018 — is a culmination of years of work on this issue.

According the 2017 processor production reports: Kentucky licensed processors paid Kentucky growers $7.5 million for harvested hemp. Additionally, Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program processor licensees reported $25.6 million in capital improvements and investments and $16.7 million in gross product sales. In 2017, more than 3,200 acres of hemp were being grown across Kentucky.

In addition to the hemp initiative, the Farm Bill strengthens the safety measures that directly help commodity producers as they confront low prices, volatile markets, and the constant threat of natural disasters. It also invests in the future of American agriculture and rural communities by expanding rural broadband, enhancing water infrastructure, and continuing the fight against the opioid epidemic that is devastating rural America.

Article source WBKO

President Trump Signs 2018 Farm Bill, Legalizing Hemp

The president signed the legislation into law Dec. 20, accelerating the hemp industry’s growth.

December 20, 2018
Melissa Schiller

President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill Thursday afternoon, signaling the official nationwide legalization of industrial hemp—a moment long-awaited by the cannabis industry.

Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell inserted language from his Hemp Farming Act of 2018 into the Farm Bill to federally legalize the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp, which is defined as cannabis that contains less than 0.3-percent THC. Congress passed the $867-billion agricultural legislation Dec. 12, effectively removing hemp from the list of controlled substances and allowing states to regulate its production, commerce and research with approval from the USDA.

“The 2018 Farm Bill is an 807-page document. Hemp is discussed only a few times throughout this document; however, the impact on the industry is epic,” said Dr. Jenelle Kim, co-founder and lead formulator at JBK Wellness Labs. “Ultimately, the Farm Bill will end the era of hemp prohibition and would deem that hemp is an agricultural commodity and is removed from the Controlled Substances Act where it is no longer mistaken as a controlled substance, like marijuana.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration will no longer be able to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products, Kim added, which will open the doors for banks, merchant services, credit card companies, e-commerce sites and advertising platforms to do business with hemp companies.

“The Farm Bill is a monumental first step for the hemp industry and a big win for U.S. agriculture,” said Jonathan Vaught, CEO and co-founder of Colorado-based biotech company Front Range Biosciences. “It allows farmers to legally grow hemp throughout the country, fueling job growth domestically and keeping the United States competitive in the global market. Allowing hemp production sets the stage for this fledgling industry to flourish as raw materials from hemp—oils, grain and fiber—can be used in a wide array of products like dietary supplements, super foods, clinically-approved drugs and fiber as a building material. The Farm Bill is also a major win for the cannabis industry as it further demonstrates the utility of cannabis as a crop.”

The cannabis industry now looks ahead to increased investment, research, cultivation and sales in a hemp market that Brightfield Group estimates will reach $22 billion by 2022.

“Business can be a great agent of social change,” said Patrick Rea, CEO and co-founder of Canopy Boulder, a seed-stage business accelerator and venture fund for the cannabis industry. “This is an example of a highly in-demand market that needed the government to engage in order to unlock its potential. Time will tell how administrative agencies like the USDA and FDA will regulate hemp products, but we can expect heightened business and investor interest in the space.”

Article source Cannabis Business Times