With the legalization of hemp, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, the government took its first step into impacting the cannabis industry. Although marijuana is still only legal in certain states, and still not recognized as legal by the US government, hemp has taken a big leap forward.
Farmers can grow hemp now, in any state. But, hemp markets and prices still face future policy developments and regulations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA,) the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA,) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establish these.
USDA regulations for hemp will come into play in September of 2021. This was set after a 2020 postponement. They’ll help clarify which states can continue managing hemp production using the 2014 Pilot Program.
Until then, there is an Interim Final Rule to govern the actual production of hemp where the USDA is overseeing the industry. This task is primarily handled by state or tribal agencies. However, in certain states, the USDA is in charge of licensing.
With their own Interim Final Rule, the DEA’s primary concern is whether hemp is still a controlled substance. Marijuana definitely is. The hemp industry is pushing back since hemp can’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC. It also doesn’t have the same psychoactive properties as THC.
It’s going to be an uphill battle to fight the DEA’s classification of hemp. The agency as a whole isn’t convinced hemp’s classification should change. There’s also the fine line between what’s hemp and what isn’t, and the risk of people taking advantage of that, that’s raising concern.
The organization holding the most power over the hemp industry is the FDA. They have yet to take a position on the various assumed effects of cannabinoids like CBD and CBG. As a result, there’s no guidance to producing hemp-derived products. This leads to hesitancy for companies to produce and sell them, or even add CBD as an ingredient in existing products.
Should the FDA create a federal regulatory path for hemp, demand for cannabinoids like CBD will increase. This will then positively impact the hemp industry as a whole. Those still in doubt will then have the confidence to try out products.
Putting on the pressure
With a new presidential administration, there’s hope for change. While no plans are in play yet, it is possible that with a little political pressure positive change can occur.
The best place to wield this type of power is at the FDA. If they develop a CBD policy, it could be a game changer.
Any policy changes in favor of hemp may ripple through the industry to raise demand. This would eventually increase hemp prices, making it a more profitable path for both farmers and manufacturers. Even with the hurdles in the way, the attention hemp continues to get has left many hopeful.
Processing hemp for the greatest output
Watching government policy and regulations closely is the key to staying on top of being able to maximize profit within the hemp industry. At Arbor Vita8, we keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening, then relay the latest information to our partner farmers and manufacturers. Through our seed-to-sale array of services, we strive to serve you as a resource every step of the way.
To learn more about our superior hemp processing services, and our high-end facility and machinery, contact Arbor Vita8 today.