The Agricultural Improvement Act, commonly known as the Farm Bill, was passed and enacted in 2018. This law removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing CBD if it is derived from hemp. However, the FDA still considers CBD to be a pharmacological ingredient, meaning that it cannot be marketed or sold as a dietary supplement with therapeutic properties without first going through the FDA drug approval process. The Farm Bill also states that hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC, according to section 10113. In addition, section 7501 of the Farm Act expands hemp research by including hemp in the Critical Agricultural Materials Act. This means that the approval of Epidiolex by the FDA eliminated the possibility of producing and selling any food or drink containing CBD.
At the federal level, cannabis-derived CBD is considered a Schedule 1 substance and is illegal. However, some states have legalized the use of all parts of the hemp plant as a food ingredient, while products containing any amount of THC are still illegal in other states. The Farm Bill also includes provisions that largely regulate hemp and there is concern among law enforcement agencies that cannabis plants used to obtain marijuana mix with hemp plants. This legislation makes hemp a popular crop, but anyone who materially falsifies any information in their application to participate in hemp production will not be able to participate in the future.
Any cannabis plant containing more than 0.3 percent THC would be considered hemp-free marijuana or marijuana under federal law and would therefore have no legal protection under this new legislation. While cultivation remains highly regulated, the law legalizes the production and distribution of hemp under federal law and establishes a framework of shared oversight by federal, state and indigenous authorities. Many members of the activist community hope that hemp policy reforms under the Farm Bill will serve as a first step toward broader cannabis reform. The law also describes actions that are considered violations of federal hemp law (including activities such as growing without a license or producing cannabis with more than 0.3 percent THC).