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If President Trump Signs the Farm Bill Next Week, Hemp Could Become Legal and Local Farmers Could Reap the Benefits

The use of CBD oil, one of the most popular medical byproducts of the plant, however, is still illegal under federal law. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

If the President signs a new farm bill into law, hemp will be legal through the United States. The bill also expands research into uses for the plant.

The farm bill that passed the House and Senate takes the plant off the Controlled Substances List that made it as illegal as heroin. That means hemp farmers like Derrick Thomas, Vice President of Veritas Farms, can now grow and sell the plant to customers in Florida and across state lines as long as they follow regulations that each state will set up in conjunction with the USDA.

He thinks these regulations will help fight some of the remaining stigma around the industry.

“We know it’s going to weed out some of the bad actors. And it’s going to help us educate the consumer about what they should be looking for and who they can trust.”

The new bill also adds protections under the Critical Agricultural Materials Act that encourages research into medical and other uses of the plant. But the use of CBD oil, one of the most popular medical byproducts of the plant, is still illegal under federal law.

In the United States, all hemp products must contain 0.3 percent or less of THC, the component responsible for the high people get when they smoke or ingest marijuana.
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Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.