Congress moves to legalize hemp

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The farm bill could allow for hemp to be legalized

For the first time in almost 100 years, hemp could soon be legal in the U.S. The 2018 Farm Bill, which has been approved by Congress, includes wording that would amend the Controlled Substances Act, allowing cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp to not be viewed as a controlled substance according to federal regulations. The new legislation would allow a range of products made from CBD to be offered, as well as to allow the expansion of hemp-based products.

Marijuana has been banned in the U.S. since the Marijuana Tax Act was introduced in 1937. Additional legislation has also lumped the plant in with other Schedule I substances the government has classified as dangerous, such as ecstasy and LSD. The Farm Bill goes a long way to reverse marijuana’s status, allowing hemp to be grown and distributed. Hemp is routinely found in fuel, clothing and food, as well as in medicine. Its legalization will go a long way to creating a new industry, while allowing the development of new medicines that can help hundreds of thousands of patients.

According to a senior associate with the Vicente Sederberg law firm, Shawn Hauser, “The 2018 bill actually goes in and amends the Controlled Substances Act to make very clear that CBD derived from hemp would not be considered a controlled substance.”

The Farm Bill still has to be approved by the House. The Senate already approved the bill and the House is expected to pass it before the end of the year.