The 2018 Farm Bill and National Hemp Cultivation

I promise! We do other stuff here at OG + S too, but we really want you to know – we can help with hemp! Also, the law is changing in this area almost everyday, so there is a lot for the amateur law firm blogger to…blog about.

I posted an article a few weeks ago on LinkedIn about this subject – if you have not read it, or don’t know anything about the state of hemp law in the United States, it might be a great place to start.

The 2014 Farm Bill allowed States the option of adopting State administered hemp pilot programs. Under the programs, farmers in states that chose to, were allowed to grow hemp, complete research on it (“research” in the broad sense – but still an important requirement), and sell hemp or hemp derived products (CBD) within the State without fear of prosecution. Obviously, there are other requirements too – and fees – and licenses – and other work for lawyers, but that is a high level overview of the pilot program that has been available in Wisconsin for a few growing seasons.

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, there are multiple changes that will expand access to hemp and hemp products in important ways – some of them are:

  1. The 2018 Farm Bill expands the ability to cultivate hemp\hemp products to farmers in ALL STATES (read, States that refused to participate under the 2014 Bill). A State must certify that its program complies with Federal Law, and it cannot start running the program until approval has been granted by the USDA. If a State does not develop its own program, the Federal Government will develop one for it. The important takeaway here: No States have adopted a program under the new Farm Bill yet….so put down your garden hoe and box of hemp seeds!
  2. Under the 2014 Farm Bill in Wisconsin, a farmer had to submit a hemp research plan and ultimate findings each year. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, that may no longer be a requirement (but that remains to be seen).
  3. Selling hemp products across state lines will be legal, as long as the hemp product is created in accordance with a sanctioned “Farm Bill 2018 Approved” program. So, what does that mean for you the “budding” entrepreneur? It means: you better keep really awesome records about where your hemp products are produced and ultimately sold because hemp products generally are still illegal and will be presumed as such.

We can help with hemp! Happy New Year!

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