Last December, hemp history was made with the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill. The new piece of legislation legalized industrial hemp at the federal level, marking a huge victory not only for consumers, but for farmers, small business owners, and the overall U.S. economy.
What’s in the Farm Bill?
Federal regulation of CBD is already opening up new doors for the hemp industry. Statutes in the bill are allowing people to navigate the hemp industry more freely without fearing any legal consequences that would have previously landed them in trouble. Some of the most important key points from the Farm Bill that makes hemp more accessible include:
- Legalization of hemp by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances.
- Interstate commerce of hemp and hemp-derived products is permitted.
- Investments allowed in the hemp industry.
- Banks and credit card companies are now allowed to service hemp businesses.
- Farmers are allowed to buy crop insurance for hemp.
- Improvements in programs researching hemp for its medicinal and nutritional properties.
What Does the Farm Bill Mean for the CBD Industry?
The future of cannabidiol products is so promising that CBD has branched out into its own industry in the last few years. By facilitating the extraction of CBD and manufacturing of CBD products, the legalization of hemp has the potential to pour millions into the economy especially the agricultural sector. In fact, many tobacco farmers are turning to hemp because tobacco is not as lucrative as it once was, and hemp can grow in the same conditions in which tobacco is cultivated.
By legalizing hemp, the bill is also making the CBD industry more transparent for consumers who have been confused by tricky and contradictory legal jargon in the past. The bill will also create more competition in the industry, eventually leading to more options and better-quality CBD products. Most importantly, the bill is helping to eliminate fear which often deterred potential consumers from participating in the industry due to previous legal uncertainties.
Hemp Beyond CBD
The legalization of hemp goes beyond the manufacturing and marketing of CBD. Hemp can be used for a variety of industrial and medicinal applications, all of which can bring significant economic growth in the next couple of years.
Hemp has long been used for textiles such as clothing. The legalization of hemp will likely lead to the mass production of hemp-derived textiles due to the lower costs involved in the process. In average, hemp requires half the amount of water that cotton does, and it does not rely on pesticides, unlike cotton and other crops.
Hemp as Food
Hemp seeds are rich in protein and essential fatty acids like omega-3. Not to be confused with CBD oil, hemp seed oil can be used as a dietary supplement that can be added to many foods. You can even add hemp leaves to your salads.
Hemp can be distilled into a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Dozens of breweries across the country are already offering hemp beer which has proven to a be a hit among beer lovers. However, hemp can also be used to make cider, wine, fruit brandy, and rum.