This article was originally published on Hoban Law Group, and appears here with permission.
Upon enactment of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”) in December 2018, which builds upon the Agriculture Act of 2014 (the “2014 Farm Bill”), hemp was designated as a commercial-scale agricultural commodity. In short, the 2018 Farm Bill served to confirm, clarify and expound upon existing U.S. federal law and expressly and permanently removed hemp – including hemp-derived cannabinoids – from treatment as a controlled substance pursuant to the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). Correspondingly, by designating hemp as an agricultural commodity, the 2018 Farm Bill also appropriately instructed the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) to oversee the regulation of hemp, to the exclusion of the authority of the DEA.
The Farm Bill
Preceding the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress previously enacted Section 7606 of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (the “2014 Farm Bill”), which initially – albeit less robustly – legalized the domestic production of hemp within the United States. The 2014 …