The 2018 Farm Bill has legalized the growing of industrial hemp, effective January 1, 2019. Under prior law, industrial hemp could be grown legally if produced under a state authorized research project.
Industrial hemp has historically been classified as a controlled substance under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Justice. The Farm Bill removes industrial hemp—any cannabis plant with no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabibol (or “THC”)—from the list of Schedule I drugs in the Control Substances Act. Marijuana, or cannabis with >0.3% THC, remains a Schedule I drug.
There are other benefits to federal legalization. Industrial hemp will now be eligible for federal grants and crop insurance. The US EPA will be able to register pesticides under FIFRA (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act). And hemp-derived CBD oil may become more widely produced and marketed.
For more information about growing hemp, go to PurdueHemp.org.