The hype around the new hemp legislation is worth it
Hemp is now officially legal to use in the United States. In a landmark decision, United States’ President Donald J. Trump gave the green light to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalizes hemp in the country.
Hemp is a species of cannabis from which CBD (Cannabidiol) can be extracted. Before the decision, the crop was primarily used for making carpets, pullovers, rope, construction material and sweaters, but now the scenario is gradually changing. It is believed that, with the legalization of hemp, CBD will become more popular among the masses. In short, out of nowhere, a hippie stereotype drug has become legal.
The 2018 Farm Bill is good news for a number of sectors. A special boost to rural United States is likely to occur, with farmers making use of their land for cultivating hemp. The hemp-derived CBD market is also going to see a boost, as such CBD is legal, where CBD derived from other sources still faces legal hurdles.
Here’s a look into the recent law’s implications.
Why is legalizing hemp great news for CBD?
Legalizing industrial hemp has made investors curious given the potential multibillion-dollar market for CBD – a non-psychoactive compound gradually being used in edible items. However, even hemp’s current legal status, if one wants to add CBD to an edible product, he/she is required to take permission from the authorities.
Last year, the CBD fraternity sold $350 million worth of products and the number is likely to reach $1 billion by 2020. And, with hemp now legal, expect an even more explosive growth in the CBD industry.
According to reports, CBD contains less than 0.3 percent of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which will never have any side-effects even though marijuana and CBD are extracted from similar plants. Also, if hemp remains a schedule 1 drug, it will help boost the CBD market to $2 billion in 5 years. Furthermore, the law is turning out to be a boon for farmers because it opens up the door for crop insurance, and will allow transfers across state lines.
Why is hemp a boon?
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp will be treated the same as other agricultural products. The legalization provides many benefits, including:
1. New crop with no barriers
Since 2014, farmers were growing hemp, but only after approval for a state-approved research program. The new bill, however, authorizes farmers to cultivate the crop freely, and it will soon become the cash crop for United States agriculture.
Furthermore, at a time when the income of farmers is at an all-time low, and growers are struggling with their plants, hemp is a bright spot for the agricultural field. The versatile crop has suffered for ages due to its marijuana crop relative. Starting this year, American hemp farmers can enjoy protections regarding interstate transport, crop insurance, and banking services.
Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, it was impossible for hemp farmers to protect their crop because the government did not approve of crop insurance for hemp cultivation. Legalization of the drug makes banking services easier for farmers who can procure low-interest loans and capital investments. That will certainly help increase the production of the crop, and the higher the production of hemp, the higher will be the quantity of CBD.
2. Increase in availability of CBD
For a long time, CBD has remained a controlled substance. Even after the Farm Bill, it will stay the same, but CBD products derived from hemp will be legal. Due to this, the availability of CBD will increase significantly, leading to price drops as legal supply surges. Expect the hemp-derived CBD industry to grow at an accelerating rate and provide tremendous opportunities for farmers and customers alike.
Final words — the future
The legalization of hemp is likely to become a huge contributor to the United States’ rural economy, as farmers nationwide are gifted with a new, lucrative crop. According to a report by Brightfield Group, the hemp-CBD market is likely to reach $22 billion by the end of 2022. With the organic cultivation and production of hemp, researchers will have greater access to CBD and its product, which should result in more CBD studies. Perhaps, with easier access leading to more research, the full benefits of CBD can be determined.