After a long, 50 year prohibition period, hemp is finally moments away from being federally legalized, paving the way for nationwide production, new industry potential, and a booming trade market.
The updated U.S. 2018 Farm Bill – which passed the Senate with an 87-13 vote last Tuesday, then the following day passed the House 369-47 with bipartisan support – is now its way to the President Trump’s desk for a final signature. If approved, and it’s expected to be, this bill would open the door for hemp farming in all 50 states, leading to new business opportunities for people looking to get into the hemp and CBD industries, a diversified stock exchange, and more securities for those actually growing the crops.
What’s Included in the Measure?
There are multiple hemp-related provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill. First and foremost, hemp production will be legalized in all 50 states (plus Native tribal land and all U.S. Territories such as Samoa and Puerto Rico) for any purpose including flower production and cannabinoid extraction. States will also be able to regulate hemp as they see fit without too much overreach from the federal government.
Once passed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be in charge of overseeing hemp production and they’ll be required to figure out how to make it as efficient and possible. Additionally, interstate commerce will be permitted for the hemp itself and all hemp-derived CBD.
There will also be a number of securities in place for hemp farmers now that weren’t previously available and made growing a very risky expenditure. For example, one of the most awaited changes is the fact that hemp farmers will have access various federal safety-net programs such as crop insurance, low-interest loans and accounts at more financial institutions, and federal water access. Farmers will also have access to patents and trademarks to protect their products and growing techniques.
Also, and perhaps the measure that brings the biggest sigh of relief, if a licensed hemp grower produces plants that have more than 0.3%, they won’t be prosecuted for a drug crime. Rather, they will be required to submit a detailed plan outlining how they will fix their “hot hemp”.
What Does 2018 Farm Bill Means for U.S. Trading?
Should the bill pass, it would allow hemp firms to be traded on major U.S. stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. For now, neither exchange will list any cannabis-related company (regardless of their success) because of its federal illegal status. Companies interested in trading have been doing so on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the present hot-spot for hemp and cannabis companies.
A few companies have already expressed interest in trading domestically. The Alkaline Water Co. for instance, is currently listed in Canada and they’re working on the development of a new, CBD-infused beverage. But their plans have been put on hold until all the legal formalities are fully worked out. Company chairman Aaron Keay recently stated that they “will not pursue the production or sale of hemp-infused products until legally permitted and all necessary approvals have been obtained.”
Industry leader Charlotte’s Web, who has been producing hemp products for years and is also listed in Canada, will most likely take a spot in one the United States’ major exchanges as well, according to their chief executive officer Hess Moallem.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill will have a ripple effect of positive changes throughout many industries in the United States. Everyone from hemp farmers themselves, to regular stock traders, to CBD companies, to patients using these products will all benefit in some way. Check back with CBD Testers for more news, we’ll continue to make updates whenever any information becomes available.