United States Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 - Farm Bill

In the state of Colorado, the 2018 Farm Bill (United States Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) has a great meaning to the hemp industry (growers, processors, and retail). Below, we have taken out each part of the 807 page 2018 Farm Bill that relates to hemp. Our comments are below each relevant section. Each comment is only an opinion and is not legal advice, you must consult with an attorney before making any decisions.

Here is a link to the full text of the 2018 Farm Act:

https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20181210/CRPT-115hrpt1072.pdf

US Senate and Congress

"(1) HEMP.-The term 'hemp' means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis."

Our comments: For Colorado, this definition does not change all that much. Here is the previous law that was in place before the Farm Bill passed: Law SB17-090 states that we must add up the THCa PLUS the Delta-9. The recently passed Amendment X in Colorado states that Colorado will be following the Federal definition, which is stated above.

"SEC. 10114. INTERSTATE COMMERCE. (a) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.-Nothing in this title or an amendment made by this title prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp (as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (as added by section 10113)) or hemp products. (b) TRANSPORTATION OF HEMP AND HEMP PRODUCTS.-No State or Indian Tribe shall prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products produced in accordance with subtitle G of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (as added by section 10113) through the State or the territory of the Indian Tribe, as applicable."

Our comments: This is significant for the state of Colorado. We can now transport hemp and hemp products, including CBD across ANY state line. You still need to check the state laws in order to sell it or process or manufacturer it.

(8) Hemp production "The Senate amendment provision amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to allow States to regulate hemp production based on a state or tribal plan. The amendment requires that such plan includes information on locations of hemp production, testing for THC concentration, disposal of plants that are out of compliance, and negligence or other violations of the state or tribal plan. It requires the Secretary to establish a plan, in consultation with the U.S. Attorney General, for States and tribes without USDA approved plans to monitor and regulate hemp production. The section clarifies that nothing in this subtitle affects or modifies the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or authorities of the HHS Secretary and FDA Commissioner and clarifies that nothing in this title authorizes interference with the interstate commerce of hemp."

Our comments: Technically, all the states that don't have an USDA approved hemp plan are still violating the law. We're sure this is happening very quickly, since the signing of the bill by the President. It is likely that the approved plans will require more oversight by each state in terms of THC testing and disposal of THC in hemp. This could require more oversight in other parts of the vertical chain of products, including processing and manufacturing of CBD related products.

"In Sec. 297A, the Managers intend to clarify, within the hemp production subtitle, that hemp is defined as the plant cannabis sativa L, or any part of that plant, including seeds, derivatives, and extracts, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis."

Our comments: Again, this clarifies that we must take into account the THCa (Delta-9) and the THC (Delta-9) in lab results.

"While states and Indian tribes may limit the production and sale of hemp and hemp products within their borders, the Managers, in Sec. 10112, agreed to not allow such states and Indian tribes to limit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products through the state or Indian territory."

Our comments: Again, we can now utilize large shipping companies to legally transport hemp and hemp products, such as CBD, across state lines in any state. Meaning we can now transport across states where CBD is not legal. Some states do not allow sales of CBD and sales should be avoided in those states. Transportation across those states is now legal.

(26) Agricultural commodity The Senate amendment adds hemp to the list of commodities enumerated in section 518. (Section 11120)

Our comments: This is especially good for growers of hemp. Farmers are now able to get crop insurance for much more reasonable rates. We have heard previous rates of $25,000 per acre for crop insurance. We now believe this rate will fall dramatically in 2019. In addition, we believe that hemp will become a futures trading contract. This will allow farmers, processors and manufacturers to hedge against price fluctuations. Also, the entire industry will have better insight into the pricing of each portion of the supply chain (i.e. biomass, CBD distillate, CBD isolate, and pricing of retail products).

Ultimately, we believe that the 2018 Farming Bill will be a great law change for the hemp industry. The Farming Bill now legitimizes hemp as any other commodity, such as corn and wheat (with a bit more regulation due to THC). Banking will become easier, although it will take some time. Expect demand to increase, which should cause pricing spikes in the summer of 2019, but with the increased demand, major competition will be entering this space. This will take some time since there are long backlogs in equipment ordering and licensing is restricted in many states to only 100 farmers or less. By late 2020, the hemp industry should be firing on all cylinders and mergers and acquisitions should be a frequent occurrence.

Honey Gold Processing is now able to ship to all states where CBD is legal. Our minimum order is one kilo of CBD distillate. Call us for availability and pricing today.