The 2018 Farm Bill, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump today, is a large, multifaceted piece of legislation outlining regulations on everything from food stamps to environmental land use. Renewed roughly every five years, the farm bill sets policies and reauthorizes farm, nutrition, rural development, conservation, agricultural trade, and other programs.

Notably, the 2018 legislation will also remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which would legalize industrial hemp production, including the plants used to produce cannabidiol (CBD oil). Industrial hemp is defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Until now, hemp was not legal on a federal level. Although several states have legalized hemp production, the 2014 farm bill, which expired Sept. 30, limited hemp production in these states to agricultural or academic research projects approved and overseen by the state government.

CBD products have become increasingly popular in recent years due to CBD’s therapeutic benefits. However, CBD production has remained in a gray area, regulated by laws that vary from state to state. This gray area has stifled research and collaboration between growers, laboratories and manufacturing entities and inhibited the potential of this market. Despite this confusing legal status, CBD products topped $350 million in consumer sales in 2017 — and is expected to grow once the farm bill goes into law.

industrial hemp cannabis plant

Collaboration is Key

With the new law in place, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) authority related to CBD will be removed. However, the FDA will continue to regulate CBD in drugs, food and dietary supplements. Thus, FDA/DEA compliant research and manufacturing compliant research and manufacturing facilities, like CURE Pharmaceutical, are in a prime position to initiate clinical and academic studies with leading labs across the country. This would lead to an exponential increase in research and innovation around CBD products since companies with more sophisticated and properly regulated operations will now be able to develop higher quality, more effective, CBD treatments exploiting multiple regulatory approval paths.

CURE’s COO, Jessica Rousset says, “The passage of 2018 Farm Bill is a game changer that opens the playing field for federally-compliant operators like CURE to pursue CBD-based products with a broader pool of academic and industry partners nationally across state lines. We will be able to get our products to market and generate revenue faster.”

Robert Davidson, CEO and Chairman of the Board of CURE Pharmaceutical elaborates: “CURE is initiating development of cannabinoid products such as THC thanks to its recent DEA license for schedule 1 manufacturing, and will now be able to rapidly develop CBD nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and medical food products from its facility in Oxnard.”

With hemp now legalized on a federal level, the future of CBD looks very bright indeed.