On Dec. 20, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. This legislation–an $857 billion, five-year spending bill that funds agricultural, nutrition and other federal programs–makes large-scale production of hemp legal for the first time since 1937. The bill also removes industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, a potential game changer for the emerging CBD and hemp industries within the U.S.
As with any progress, there comes some consequences. With the signing of the bill, products made with hemp-derived cannabidiol (CDB) will now be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency, which also regulates covered tobacco products including cigarettes, premium cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah, e-cigarettes and other similar products, is working on devising a plan to legalize the sale CBD oil and other cannabis-based elements in food and beverages. The bill also eased some of the federal-level restrictions on cannabis. This could transform the cannabis industry within the U.S. as banks may now have a legal pathway to working with cannabis and hemp companies and businesses now that the products are legal and recognized by the federal government.
CBD and THC have both been in the national spotlight as businesses have added them both to a variety of consumable products including foods, beverages and even supplements. These products, however, have been limited to only certain markets and can’t be sold across state lines. While this new bill doesn’t do away with those restrictions, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb acknowledges the public’s interest in these products and their potential benefits.
“We recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities. We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products,” Gottlieb commented in a press release.