Legislation that includes a measure to legalize hemp, rich in the compound used to produce numerous CBD oil products, made significant progress last week. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee overwhelmingly endorsed the Farm Bill, known also as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, by a vote of 20 to 1 on June 13.
Although it’s a type of cannabis plant like marijuana, hemp does not produce the ”high” of THC. It’s often used in industrial products and also contains cannabidiol, or CBD; much more, in fact, than cannabis or marijuana. CBD is used in products that claim to relieve pain, ease stress, help you sleep, improve skin, and pump up mascara’s lash-thickening power. It is expected to become a $1 billion-a-year market by 2020.
Although CBD is legal in numerous states, the federal government considers it a Schedule I drug and therefore illegal to have. The Farm Bill proposes, among its many provisions, legalizing the CBD that comes from industrial hemp. Currently, growing industrial hemp is legal on a federal level only for research or under a state pilot program in states that have legalized it.
Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an industry group, says the Farm Bill includes the Hemp Farming Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and endorsed by 25 other senators, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).