Many twists and turns ahead for hemp industry in USA
As the euphoria brought on by passage of the Farm Bill begins to fade, American hemp stakeholders face the challenges of crafting and living with federal and state standards for cultivation and finished products. Some in the industry are eager to work with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to develop standards for hemp-based consumer products. Others threaten lawsuits.
Meanwhile, exponential growth, driven primarily by soaring demand for CBD, means many twists and turns ahead for hemp in the USA.
“In four years, we went from zero acres to almost 80,000 acres in hemp cultivation,” said Robert Hoban, managing partner of Colorado-based Hoban Law Group. “That’s pretty impressive for agriculture. The CBD industry is growing dramatically. I don’t expect to see it slow down. I don’t see the government putting the brakes on the industry at the federal level. But there are many challenges ahead…many.”
The 2018 Farm Bill essentially legalized hemp by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act and out of the purview of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), expanding the definition of industrial hemp, and categorizing hemp as an agricultural product. Moving forward, the USDA plans to have federal cultivation standards for hemp in time for the 2020 growing season.