Senate approval of the 2018 Farm Bill is the single most significant milestone in the history of the US CBD-Hemp industry to date.
The Farm Bill was authored by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) acting as co-sponsor. Leading up to Senate approval, the US House of Representatives also passed the Bill, as did the Senate Agriculture Committee who voted in favour by a margin of 20-1.iSenator Grassley's (R-IA) proposal to remove cannabidiol from the definition of industrial hemp was denied, resulting in a sole opposition vote.
Earlier this year, another milestone court ruling also provided significant regulatory support for the US Zero-THC CBD Hemp Oil sector. In February 2018, the Supreme Court preceded over the HIA (Hemp Industry Association) vs. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) in a class-action suit concerning the issue of CBD extracted from hemp, and the legality of industrial hemp.
In the final ruling the Supreme Court unequivocally determined that - when produced domestically under the Farm Bill - hemp (and its derivatives) are not a controlled substance.
The Supreme Court ruling also found the Farm Bill (as it relates to hemp) "pre-empts" the Controlled Substances Act. Congress has since exempted Farm Bill hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) giving the Farm Bill primary jurisdiction over the governance of the CBD-Hemp Oil industry in the USA.
The DEA further conceded it does not "seek to control cannabinoids," and that only marijuana derived cannabinoids are governed under the Controlled Substances Act. In May of 2018, the DEA issued a formal directive to all federal agencies (e.g. US Customs and Border Patrol) stating that cannabinoids are not controlled substances unless derived from marijuana, and that the "mere presence of cannabinoids" in any product or derivative does not render it a controlled substance. The Supreme Court ruling also resulted in the mediation of a settlement in what is now the third successful HIA vs. DEA suit in over a decade.
When combined, the approval of the Farm Bill and the latest HIA vs. DEA ruling fully legitimizes a nascent CBD-Hemp industry that has been forecasted to grow, from US $202 million in 2016, to over US $2.1 billion by 2020.
Senate approval also creates a safe harbor for US financial institutions to service the industrial hemp sector with banking services.
In Canada, federal legalization of medicinal cannabis was also approved this month. Bill C-45 (also known as The Cannabis Act) received Royal Assent and officially passed into law on June 21st by a margin of 52-29 with an effective date set for October 2018 and a mandate of legalizing cannabinoid infused edibles by 2019.v The Canadian legal cannabis market alone is anticipated to reach over CDN $22.8 million by 2024.