Since the year 2015, the U.S. Congress has tried to pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, developed to legalize hemp and other cannabis products but have failed. When the bill was again included in the 2018’s Farm Act, many thought the same outcome would present itself and that would be the end of it. But surprisingly, Congress allowed the bill to pass on December 10, 2018, thus removing governmental limitations on hemp. Then, amidst the government shutdown, President Trump signed the bill and hemp was legalized. It was a great end to 2018, and now in 2019 with hemp open to agriculture, here are sections from the 2018 Farm Act that will help you understand the ins-and-outs of hemp farming.
The new Farm Act will define hemp as “Cannabis sativa L,” and the plant must contain a THC concentration less than 0.3 percent.
Changes to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)
The CSA previously categorized hemp as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but after the Farm Act passes this will be revised to not include hemp. Marijuana, still defined, as a Schedule 1 narcotic will be separate from hemp and hemp will be defined as an agricultural stock. All products of hemp, including CBD oil, are now legal under federal law. This also means businesses will be able to use this to deduct expenses when they file taxes, similar to every other industry.
Since farmers will be able to legally grow crops of hemp under federal law, they can apply for crop insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act. This means farmers can also use banks to open up accounts and apply for loans, a process they weren’t able to do because of government restrictions.
Reimbursement of Research
Those funding the study can now compensate hemp farmers that are involved in any research groups prior to the bill passing.
Kentucky’s Declining Farming Industry
Since the decline of tobacco, Kentucky’s rich lands have been in need of another crop to grow. Soybeans have replaced a majority of the land, but according to Kentucky Farmers, the return on investment is not as profitable as hemp. For instance, an acre of soybeans is about $500, while an acre of hemp is estimated to be about $30,000. That’s about 60 times as much profit being made and done with the same amount of work. Kentucky farmers are more than aware of the Act passing, so it is only a matter of time before this crop begins to bloom.