Farm Bill Amendment Passes in Senate. Upcoming House Vote Could End All Controversy Regarding Hemp-Derived CBD.
There was some very exciting news over the past few weeks concerning hemp and CBD. With the full support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (86-11) to approve an amendment to the Farm Bill that would officially recognize Hemp as legal to grow and cultivate in all U.S. States and territories. Even more promising, against a huge public outcry, the Senate committee opted to ignore language that would have carved out hemp derivatives, such as CBD extracts and hemp-derived CBD, as illegal and still subject to the Controlled Substances Act. While the House still needs to approve the Bill before it goes into law, the lopsided support in favor of the bill bodes well for its chances of being approved by Congress.
Industrial Hemp, classified as being a strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant that is under .03% THC concentration, is legal and is already used in a wide array of industrial applications and plastics, amongst other medicinal applications. When congress outlined THC under the Controlled Substances Act, it made no mention of CBD or any other cannabinoids for that matter (of which Cannabis contains 65 cannabinoids; THC and CBD are merely two of them). However, in 2016 a DEA rule interpretation chose to treat hemp extracts and derivatives as being “marijuana extracts,” even if they were derived from legal hemp.
Of course, treating hemp-derived CBD as if it were Marijuana is tantamount to regulating a bottle of balsamic vinegar the same as a bottle wine. Yes, one is derived from the other, but to even a child they are not the same product. Derivatives of legal products cannot be interpreted as illegal unless expressly outlined by Congress.
“Of course, treating hemp-derived CBD as if it were Marijuana is tantamount to regulating a bottle of balsamic vinegar the same as a bottle wine.”
This new legislation will hopefully bring closure to a long running dispute over the legality of Hemp-derived CBD and other hemp-based extracts. It’s refreshing to see so much support and money lining up behind the Hemp industry as producers everywhere struggle against constant stigma and public push-back on this issue.
But this problem belongs to producers and retailers alone. Consumers, on the other hand, have never had such a plethora of CBD and hemp products at their disposal and more states are outright legalizing it every year. These early adopters are helping to usher in an era of acceptance, one where the industrial and medicinal benefits of CBD are widely known to all.
Regardless of what congress ultimately chooses to do, the best thing for consumers to do is to keep buying CBD products and voting with their dollars, which will generate hundreds of millions in tax revenues across the nation. If Congress won’t follow public support, they’ll eventually follow the money.