The Industrial Hemp Farming Act to close up the legality gaps from the 2014 Farm Bill. While the 2014 Farm Bill brought hemp production back to America, it gave the DEA the ability to antagonize farmers and undermine hemp efforts. While the current Act is not perfect, efforts are being undertaken to get the Act close to an ideal form before passage. But, how did we get here?
Now is the time for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was born from the Hemp Industry’s growing pains over the last 3 years. While key production states like California, Colorado, and Kentucky have seen immense growth; the results have been varied elsewhere. Most of this is due to the FDA being unable to regulate the product and the DEA insisting that hemp/CBD is still a Schedule I narcotic. Hemp industry leaders have battled with the federal government up until 2017 when the DEA chose to back off its choice of legal wording. Now, the Industrial Hemp Act exists to clean up any legal loopholes.
Patching the loopholes from the 2014 Farm Bill
Hemp cultivation returned to America in full force after the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. While the bill was a compromise to many interests, it fell short of calling hemp directly legal. The ruling in the final bill was that industrial hemp is distinct from marijuana. While that sounds pretty clear, it doesn’t say that hemp is legal. But, if there are no laws on the books against hemp farming & consumption, why is it still getting linked in with its nefarious sibling?
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act is picking up steam in Congress this Fall. While Kentucky Republicans support the bill, there are efforts within the GOP to water it down. Those efforts range from DEA inspections to ‘hot’ testing measures being more severe. Most of these add-ons are expected to be dropped, it’s still quite an improvement over where hemp farming was at before 2014. Since 33 states are now actively participating in either hemp production or consumption, many believe this 2/3rds American majority will push the Act to passage.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act Moving Forward
While the Industrial Hemp Farming Act seems to be marching to passing, there are a ton of questions to be answered. Will the Act create a conflict between the FDA and the Hemp Industry? Why does this Act purposefully leave our cannabis farmers and merchants? As such, will they ever directly support federal efforts towards legalization? If that wasn’t enough, how will it be implemented nationwide? The future is wide open.
Quote source: Ministry of Hemp