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Hemp has long offered unparalleled possibilities for business growth and putative wellness benefits. To give you a bit of background, hemp is one of the fastest-growing, easily-cultivated varieties of the Cannabis plant. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a separate species of the same plant and contains high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that delivers the intoxicating effects. Since hemp is a different variety of the plant, by definition, it carries minimal concentrations of THC. 

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Up until December 2018, the use, cultivation, and sale of hemp-derived products were illegal. The 2018 Farm Bill revolutionized everything when it authorized the production of hemp as an agricultural initiative while removing it from the list of controlled substances

 What Does the 2018 Farm Bill Say About CBD?

The Farm Bill is the first federal law legalizing hemp and removing its Drug Enforcement Administration Schedule I controlled substance classification.

The Farm Bill is the first federal law legalizing hemp and removing its Drug Enforcement Administration Schedule I controlled substance classification. Before the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, its predecessor, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized research on industrial hemp under restricted circumstances. However, the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill substantially broadens these restrictions and even permits hemp cultivation under specific regulations. 

CBD Industry Before the Farm Bill

Before the Farm Bill, it was generally illegal to grow, use, or distribute hemp-derived products, although some inactive parts of the Cannabis plant, such as ‘stalks’ could be purchased or sold. In 2017, retail sales for hemp products, including food products, beauty products, household products, and supplements, reached $820 million. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill indeed increased the production of hemp and boosted sales of CBD products.

Prior to the passing of the Farm Bill, hemp businesses flourished in many states in which such products were legal. These CBD businesses have successfully operated in a quasi-legal standing under U.S. Department of Justice policy, which had effectively legitimated industry associated with cannabis to operate in state jurisdictions where such substance is legal.

To sum it up, federal legalization implies that farmers and businesses that deal in hemp and hemp-derived products, such as CBD, can now invest in their businesses fully. However, state laws still have to be taken into account when pursuing these business goals as they might still be a concern for CBD businesses.

To sum it up, federal legalization implies that farmers and businesses that deal in hemp and hemp-derived products, such as CBD, can now invest in their businesses fully. However, state laws still have to be taken into account when pursuing these business goals as they might still be a concern for CBD businesses.

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Effects of the Farm Bill on CBD Industry

Although the use of hemp was made legal federally, regulations administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) presents further concerns for the sale of hemp-derived products. Many manufacturers, as well as marketers of CBD products, claim that the products they offer are efficient in combatting and even preventing multiple diseases. 

Consequently, the FDA has taken a solid position against such claims stating that prior approval needs to be granted based upon clinical trials to prove the safety and purity of these products. As an ongoing effort to stay ahead of the claims, the FDA has already issued a number of warning reports to stop the marketing of these products as supplements or full-fledged medications.

CBD Industry

The CBD Industry Now

Businesses operating in the hemp production and sale still need to be mindful of a number of concerns as gray areas still govern the industry. They need to abide by state and federal laws regarding hemp. Furthermore, businesses selling CBD-infused products need to revisit their health-related marketing promotions to comply with the FDA rulings while delicately navigating the murky CBD waters.

The many potential uses of hemp have already been an impressive game-changer. However, with the lack of research, there is no guarantee as to whether or not the use of hemp-derived products is completely safe. Some hemp enthusiasts have fostered the idea that the CBD market is destined to become a massive success story while neglecting the many hurdles still facing the industry. 

Closing Thoughts

The concept of hemp-derived products is still new. Although the potential it offers is certainly notable, it comes with concerns such as lack of research, branding, and adequately educating users. Additionally, there is a great deal of ambivalence surrounding the hemp market, as well as in the policy and regulatory fields. There certainly are exceptional opportunities for hemp in the U.S, but the industry is still in its infancy stage and has a lot of milestones to achieve if it is to become as recognized as traditional medication.

Yash Chawda

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