Did the 2018 Farm Bill Open a “Hemp” Pandora’s Box?

October 18, 2021

When the Senate passed the 2018 Farm Bill they created a definition for “legal hemp”. Unfortunately, the bill failed to consider the chemical and biological makeup of the actual cannabis plant, as well as the ability of a lot of very smart people, to figure out new ways to utilize the, now legal plant.

FiveThirtyEight’s Lester Black provides an excellent analysis of how the 2018 Farm Bill actually muddied the waters regarding cannabis regulation, and inadvertently increased the threat to public safety.  Creating a legal definition for “hemp” , a cannabis plant containing <.03% THC, has led to so called gray market products, which are produced from a legal plant, but are intoxicating and unregulated.  With no regulation, testing, or any other safeguards, these products, such as Delta 8, and THC-O, pose a public health threat.

The only real solution is comprehensive federal cannabis reform.  Reform which would end federal cannabis prohibition, and regulate the cannabis plant and all cannabis products.

The United States is closer than ever to enacting comprehensive cannabis reform. There are currently two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well a one sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Schumer soon to make an appearance in the Senate. All of these would end federal cannabis prohibition and regulate cannabis and cannabis products, in a manner similar to how alcohol and tobacco products are regulated.

Clearly federal regulation is a matter of when, not if. Fortunately, there are steps that you and your business can take today to prepare for that inevitability. With decades of experience working at, and dealing with federal regulatory agencies, the leaders at Verde Compliance Partners are uniquely positioned to help you take these steps.