The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill could help the marijuana industry have a happy new year
Now that both the Senate and the House have approved the 2018 Farm Bill, there is a very bright future for the cannabis industry. The bill authorizes $867 billion for agricultural operations of many types, but one stands out above the rest. Lawmakers have given the green light for legalized hemp and this is going to cause an economic explosion on the cannabis industry that could reach billions within three years. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The bill still has to be signed by President Trump, but once that happens, hemp will be a legal agricultural commodity. Analysts are predicting that the cannabis market, which currently sits at around $800 million, could grow to $20 billion by the year 2020.
The Department of Agriculture will oversee the hemp industry, but individual states will be the masters of their own destinies, creating or rejecting legislation. The Farm Bill allows researchers to apply for federal grants and hemp would be eligible for coverage under crop insurance. The expanded activity under the hemp umbrella will create new jobs and an entirely new industry that is sure to provide a welcome boost to states’ economies.
In response to the bill’s passage, Ron Wyden, a senator out of Oregon, told Roll Call, “For too long, the outrageous and outdated ban on growing hemp has hamstrung farmers in Oregon and across the country. Hemp products are made in America, sold in America, and consumed in America. Now, hemp will be able to be legally grown in America, to the economic benefit of consumers and farmers in Oregon and nationwide.”