What Is “Hemp”?
The 2018 Farm Bill defines “hemp” as any part or derivative of the Cannabis sativa L. plant containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) by weight. This definition includes hemp plants that produce the concentrated liquid extract known as cannabidiol (or CBD) oil. CBD oil has rapidly gained traction through recent years as a wellness product and is now legal in numerous states.
2018 Farm Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill is the first piece of federal legislation legalizing hemp and removing its Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) Schedule I controlled substance designation.
While the 2014 Farm Bill permitted research on industrial hemp under narrow circumstances, the 2018 Farm Bill significantly broadens these allowances and legalizes hemp cultivation in accordance with certain regulations. The 2018 Farm Bill also amends the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (“CSA”) by declassifying hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance and shifting its supervision from the DEA to the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). Under the CSA, Schedule I substances receive the DEA’s strictest form of regulatory treatment and are the only category that cannot be prescribed by a physician. Hemp is now excluded from this designation.