While the passing of the farm bill opens many doors to hemp farming, many states are left scrambling when it comes down to the details of how hemp and marijuana are regulated.
On the federal level, the Non-psychoactive derivative of hemp – CBD has been taken off the controlled substance act, and farmers are now allowed to buy insurance for, grow, and transport raw hemp and hemp extracts in 41 states with current industrial hemp programs.
For the remaining, each state agriculture department is charged with creating their own individual programs, for hemp production, processing, and governing. While these states play catch up with federal law, markets continue to grow at an increasing rate, bringing up the question – are our local governments on the same page regarding the status of hemp, and if so, can they tell the difference between marijuana and hemp? Strict regulations still surrounding cannabis in many parts of the US, lead FL sheriff’s to raid a bus sporting a “pot leaf” logo – seizing THC free CBD products that failed a field test for marijuana.
Currently, cannabis is legal in 10 states, with 33 states allowing medical usage. This increase in acceptance calls for hemp and cannabis education for both the general public and local governments. For cannabis, transportation is limited within the state of production, while hemp- (barring food/nutritional supplements containing CBD) is cleared for interstate commerce.
Interest in cannabis and hemp continues to grow globally. Current market drivers in the US come from strong recreational interest. Gallup reports that 64% of Americans believe cannabis should be legalized. The legal Cannabis market in the US hit $12bn in 2018, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 28%. Comparatively, the industrial hemp market is estimated to hit $1.3bn in 2020 with an 18.4% CAGR. Interest in CBD has seen growth since the introduction and passing of the farm bill, Google analytics show CBD has been a more common search term compared to Marijuana since July of 2018, a trend highlighted by the introduction and passing of the farm bill.
Many states are on the right path by allowing medical and/or recreational or consumption, allocating resources to industrial hemp programs, and creating channels for legal business to grow. Educating of our leaders is the only way towards global acceptance and responsible growth and is part of what we have to do to ensure success for all.