Senate passes $867 billion farm bill that would legalize hemp, expand subsidies

Senate passes $867 billion farm bill that would legalize hemp, expand subsidies

Senate passes $867 billion farm bill that would legalize hemp, expand subsidies

The Farm Bill has passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which is good news for Kentucky's hemp farmers.

Trump has 10 days to sign or veto the $867 billion bill; his signature is considered nearly certain as Congress scrambles to finish its work before this session ends December 21.

The US Congress on Wednesday approved the legalization of large-scale hemp cultivation and its removal from a list of controlled substances. Village Farms is also working with other parties to have hemp removed from the controlled substance lists of other US states to enable the Company to pursue opportunities outside Texas. Legalizing domestic hemp production could increase the hemp-derived CBD market substantially, with a recent report predicting $22 billion by 2022.

And those who sell dried flower or CBD-infused products made from hemp can now ship across state lines without fear of prosecution as long as they are careful not to run afoul of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Instead, he highlighted the bill's protections for struggling dairy farmers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and other rural areas where he said dairy farms were closing because of market conditions.

Hemp is about to become legal nationwide. "As of right now, any other CBD product other than Epidiolex remains a Schedule I controlled substance", DEA spokesperson Rusty Payne said at the time.

Funding for organics. The bill permanently secures $50 million in annual funding for a Department of Agriculture research program that focuses on organic farming practices and expanding organic agriculture.

Green Mountain CBD grows hemp in a field in Hardwick
Green Mountain CBD grows hemp in a field in Hardwick

"The farm bill is becoming more flexible to provide a reasonable amount of support" to farmers, says Dale Moore, executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington and former chief of staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Bruce Perlowin, the CEO of the company Hemp Inc.

It's been more than 40 years since Jack Herer ignited the marijuana movement's interest in hemp with The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy. With that, the US cannabis industry could grow to $20 billion by 2022 from $800 million this year.

"As the scientific literature indicates, cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), cannabinols (CBN) and cannabidiols (CBD), are found in the parts of the cannabis plant that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana, such as the flowering tops, resin, and leave". The company hasn't declared any USA assets, and it declined to comment on US hemp plans.

The bill doesn't include a provision supported by Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, aimed at preventing wealthy absentee landlords from collecting farm subsidies.

In an interview with VTDigger, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said passing the bill gives stability to farmers in Vermont and across the country for the next five years. It's one of only two Canadian firms represented on the board of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an industry lobby group. While Congress was fighting over potential cuts to SNAP, the previous farm bill expired September 30. The new bill also establishes a Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers (CLEAR) Initiative, which is aimed at protecting drinking water and waterways from pesticide and fertilizer runoff.


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