Two years ago, the 2018 farm bill was signed into law by President Trump, marking a historic shift in federal cannabis policy. To celebrate the anniversary of the monumental piece of legislation, E1011 Labs is taking a look back at just what the 2018 farm bill is, what it does, and what it means for the cannabis and hemp trades in the United States.
So, What Is The 2018 Farm Bill?
The 2018 farm bill is a continuation of previous agricultural legislation that dates back to nearly a century ago. In 1933 FDR created the first-ever Farm Bill as part of his New Deal. This farm bill was later made more permanent in 1938. However, it included the caveat requiring the bill to be updated every five years.
The first major changes to the farm bill came in 1996, when the Clinton administration signed the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (FAIR Act/Freedom to Farm Act), which, among other things, provided direct subsidies to farmers for the first time, reauthorized the federal food stamps program, and established the Fund for Rural America. The FAIR act expired in 2002 and was replaced by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
Following the 2002 Farm bill was the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, and after that came the Agricultural Act of 2014. This brings us to 2018 when this article’s titular 2018 Farm Bill replaced the 2014 Agricultural Act.
For the last few decades, As each piece of legislation has superseded the last, different provisions across a myriad of separate issues have been added or removed. For example, the 2008 Farm Bill came with new funding for local food programs like farmer’s markets, and the 2014 Farm Bill included large cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The 2018 Farm Bill has one provision in particular that makes it so important to the cannabis industry, and that is the federal decriminalization of hemp.
What's Included In The 2018 Farm Bill
The main reason we’re discussing the 2018 farm bill today is decriminalized hemp on a federal level, but that’s far from the only provision included in this piece of legislation, and believe it or not, one of the least controversial.
In fact, the 2018 farm bill was so contentious that congress was unable to pass the bill before provisions in the 2014 farm bill expired. This was mainly due to house conservatives’ inclusion of proposed changes to SNAP, which would impose work requirements for recipients. Six months later, congress comprised, removing the changes to SNAP and passing the bill.
Some of the notable provisions that did end up in the final copy are:
- Increased funding for SNAP
- Reauthorized the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations program, which allows Tribal Organizations to offer food distribution programs that act as an alternative to SNAP
- Reauthorized the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, which provides free meals to elderly and low-income citizens.
- Reauthorized the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides food assistance to low-income elderly people of at least 60 years of age.
- Removed Hemp from the Federal list of controlled substances
What The 2018 Farm Bill Means for Hemp
The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC and paves the way for legal hemp production, cultivation and sale.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual states to decide if they want to allow for hemp cultivation to take place in their borders, but they can not limit the shipping or transportation of hemp or hemp-derived products like CBD through their borders.
Currently, only three states have refused to institute hemp cultivation programs. Want to check the legality of hemp in your state? Check out our blog here.
What Is The Status Of The 2018 Farm Bill?
Currently, the 2018 Farm Bill is the law of the land. It’s not set to expire until 2023 when a new congress will reevaluate the provisions included, and draft a new version of the bill to be signed off on by the Biden Administration.
Celebrate Hemp With E1011 Labs
Now that hemp has been decriminalized, it’s easier to access than ever before. For the most part, this is a great thing, but with the proliferation of CBD products in the market, it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting a high-quality product.
Our revolutionary CBD delivery device elon® is designed to work with disposable stelo™. Each stem is filled with the finest sun-grown hemp flower that’s been dual lab tested to ensure potency and quality.
Order an Elon Starter Bundle today, and celebrate the 2018 Farm Bill with the sublime taste of hemp!