The hemp plant was widely cultivated in the United States for its fibers up until 1937 when the ‘Marihuana Tax Act’ was implemented which placed a large tax on commercially produced hemp-derived products. The new act was pushed by special interest in the timber industry who wanted wood pulp for paper production to dominate the market. In addition, special interest groups involved with manufacturing synthetic fibers derived from petroleum production were involved in the development of this tax act as well.
In 1970, the hemp plant was soon grouped into the ‘Controlled Substances Act’ which classified hemp, along with cannabis, as illegal substances in the United States. This act would federally prohibit the hemp plant from being cultivated and sold in the United States.
In 2014, the ‘Farm Bill of 2014’ was passed by President Barak Obama allowing for legal hemp cultivation AGAIN under certain strict criteria and Government oversight. This was the first monumental step in the right direction for the hemp industry.
In 2018, the ‘Farm Bill of 2018’ was enacted and completely removed hemp from the Federal Controlled Substances list. This Federal law allows for full commercial cultivation of hemp in the United States once again. After 30+ years of hemp prohibition in the United States, it is officially a legal agricultural good once more.
Now this doesn’t mean you can go outside and start growing acres of hemp at home. There are still several restrictions on the cultivation of hemp.
We have listed those restrictions for you below:
1) The hemp cannot contain more than 0.30% THC. If it does contain more than that threshold, then your hemp will be considered Marijuana/Cannabis to the Federal Govt. which is still Federally illegal.
2) The State and Federal Government will share regulatory power over the cultivation of hemp. This means that each state will have specific regulations that are enacted and monitored by both State and Federal Government entities. An example would include having a permit/license from the state in order to cultivate hemp.
3) The Federal Government has an outline regarding punishments if legal hemp cultivators do not follow regulations. Basically, if you grow without a permit/license or your hemp contains more than the legal threshold of THC; you will be punished under federal law.
We are optimistic about the future deregulation of hemp in the United States and hope that one day everyone can freely cultivate hemp just like Tomato and Beans. Hemp has the potential to innovate numerous industries and with time, we believe those innovations will occur legally.
Now that you have learned about the Farm Bill of 2018, feel free to learn more from our weekly blog posts! Our website is full of educational material to help you stay up-to-date and also become a successful home grower. Simply click on our Blog tab below and learn more about this ever-changing industry.