The new Hemp Farming Act of 2018 officially debuted on the Senate floor yesterday. On April 12, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the bipartisan bill that would, if passed, see industrial hemp regulated as an agricultural crop and remove it from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
The predecessor 2014 Farm Bill, signed into law by President Obama, legalized the growing of hemp solely for research purposes—for instance, by state departments or universities. But the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 goes much further, classifying hemp ingredients (with THC levels under the 0.3% threshold) as an agricultural commodity and removing federal “roadblocks” to the growth of industrial hemp across the U.S. Accordingly, hemp formulated into food and beverages would be considered agricultural ingredients. The hemp phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) would also be considered an agricultural commodity, said the lobbyist group U.S. Hemp Roundtable, which represents a coalition of hemp companies.
Hemp industry advocates strongly support the 2018 Hemp Farming Act. U.S. Hemp Roundtable said on its website that the bill’s authors “listened closely to farmers and the industry in