There has been much controversy and confusion over the legal Status of CBD on both the Federal and State level. The greatest part of the confusion is that CBD (cannabidiol) is present in both the cannabis plant and the hemp plant.
On June 28 the Senate voted 86-11 to take hemp out of the Controlled Substances Act. This came as part of the Senate Version of the 2018 Farm Bill. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, was responsible for steering the hemp language in the overall bill. McConnell took to the Senate floor three times in that week to call for changing the current limited legality of hemp.
The Farm Bill that is in the House does not mention hemp. As a next step the Farm Bill will move to a Conference Committee of House-Senate negotiators, and they must have a final version to present to the President by September.
The Senate 2018 Farm Bill says that Cannabis sativa L. plants, (hemp) at or below 0.3% THC are not controlled substances.
One of the points of legal confusion is that CBD (Cannabidiol) can be derived from the Cannabis plant and also from the hemp plant. THC, the psychoactive property of cannabis, is only present in trace amounts in hemp, (less than 0. 3%), and CBD (cannabidiol) is present in both cannabis and hemp.
This Senate approved 2018 Farm Bill, is the first step to remove the confusion by clearly defining hemp as an agricultural product. This means that all products that are derived from hemp, including CBD Oil, would be legal. The bill also:
★ Allows hemp production in all states, regardless of their current hemp production status.
★ Authorizes CBD extraction from hemp flowers.
★ Allows hemp farmers’ access to federal water rights.
★ Allows hemp farmers to get crop insurance.|
★Allows for the protection of hemp farmers from prosecution if the hemp tests out at higher THC levels
★Allows Hemp production on tribal lands and in Puerto Rico
★State agriculture departments, and Native American tribes, would be free to regulate hemp in the same way they can regulate any crop.
The growing awareness, in the United States, of the benefits of cannabis and hemp
has helped remove the stigma created from the years of prohibition. 30 States, as of July 2018, are legal for Medical Marijuana and 9 States and Washington DC are legal for recreational use, for adults over 21.
The 2014 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp at the federal level. To date, only 30 states have exercised the right to set up pilot programs as set out in the bill.
This unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate for removal of hemp from the DEA’s list of controlled substances is encouraging to the cannabis and hemp industries. The growing recognition that both hemp and cannabis are natural herbs, from the same family, that provide a wide array of benefits both medicinal and industrial, is proof that “the times they are a changing”, and that is great news!