President Trump signs the 2018 Farm Bill, legal hemp now official

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The Farm Bill is now law, will become effective as of January 1

It’s now official. President Trump gave his signature to the 2018 Farm Bill yesterday, paving the way for legalization of the hemp industry in the U.S. All of the hard work and effort that has been expended over the course of 2018 have paid off and 2019 is shaping up to be a critical time for nationwide expansion of marijuana laws across the country.

The bill faced a significant amount of resistance over the past several months as the House and Senate sought to reconcile differences in the bill’s language. Once they overcame those obstacles, lawmakers readily accepted the bill and sent it to Trump to be signed.

While the Farm Bill legalizes hemp, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that marijuana is now legal across the U.S. There are still a number of restrictions in place, but additional legislation is expected to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session that could relax laws even more.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is still illegal; however, cannabinoids produced from hemp are legal as long as they are produced from hemp. Even then, they will only be legal if they comply with federal and state regulations. The one exception is pharmaceutical CBD products, such as Epidiolex, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Says the deputy director of NORML, Paul Armentano, “The significance of this law change should not be underemphasized. This law marks the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970, and paves the way for the first federally-sanctioned commercial hemp grows since World War II.”