Is Growing Hemp Legal in the US? What You Need to Know
These days, it seems that everyone is talking about hemp and CBD. Unfortunately, many people are very confused about the cannabis laws in the United States.
There was once a time when hemp was one of the most important plants in all of America. However, that all changed when Marijuana became federally illegal in 1937.
By the 1970s, hemp was essentially nonexistent in the United States. Over the past decades, there have been several laws put into place to reverse hemp’s legal standing. So is growing hemp legal today in the United States?
We’re glad you asked. Keep on reading and we will give you the answers to all of your burning questions.
The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
Unfortunately, the hemp plant ended up being a casualty in the fight against marijuana use in the United States. Marijuana and hemp are both varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant and they look identical.
The main difference between hemp and marijuana has to do with how much THC is in each plant. THC is what’s responsible for the notorious “marijuana high.”
The hemp plant usually has a high concentration of CBD (cannabidiol) and a low concentration of THC. The opposite tends to be true for marijuana.
CBD and THC are both cannabinoids in the Cannabis Sativa plant. These cannabinoids interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. This means that you can’t get high from CBD.
Hemp In the United States Today
In the 2014 Farm Bill, pilot programs were put in place to study hemp. In 2018, the legalization of hemp became much more expansive.
Now, hemp-derived items can be transported across state lines for individual and commercial purposes. There are also no restrictions on the possession, transport, and sale of hemp products. This only holds true if the hemp was grown in accordance with the law.
With all that said, there are still some restrictions when it comes to growing hemp.
First, a legal hemp plant can’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Any plant that has more THC than this is considered to be marijuana and is not protected under the Farm Bill.
Also, there is a lot of regulation over hemp production and cultivation. State agriculture departments need to consult with law enforcement to come up with enforcement plans.
The Farm Bill also outlines actions that are considered to be violations of the national hemp law. This includes activities like cultivating without a license.
Hemp Farmers Are Treated Like Other Farmers
Hemp is treated like other agricultural products under the Farm Bill. This means that people who farm hemp can receive protections under the Federal Crop Insurance Act. This is an act meant to help farmers who are facing crop losses.
CBD Is Now Legal
CBD is not specifically declared legal under the Farm Bill. Instead, the bill simply states that hemp-derived products are now legal. Technically, CBD that has been isolated from hemp is still technically illegal at the federal level.
The Battle Between Federal and State Laws
Nobody is denying that the Cannabis laws in the United States are already very confusing. And it is made even more complicated by the fact that many states have laws that contradict federal laws.
For example, marijuana is illegal at the federal level but it is legal both for medical and recreational purposes in a multitude of states. And while hemp-derived products are legal federally, they are still illegal in several states.
The Best States for Hemp Cultivation
Let’s look at the best states for hemp cultivation. If you live in one of these states, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about if you want to grow hemp on your own.
Colorado has been at the forefront of cannabis reform for many years now. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is extremely pro-hemp and they work with hemp farmers to help get them up and running.
Hemp easily grows in Colorado’s climate, elevation, soil, and landscape. Marijuana is also legal both recreationally and medically in the state.
Similar to Colorado farmers, the farmers in Oregon benefit from a helpful Department of Agriculture. In fact, Oregon sees some of the highest levels of hemp production than any other state.
Oregon State University has even launched the Global Hemp Innovation Center. They also have some of the most liberal laws on the books when it comes to selling hemp-derived products.
While New York is a far third from Oregon and Colorado, it is still a great place for someone to grow hemp. There is a solid regulatory structure put in place and the application fee is relatively low.
CBD manufacturers cannot sell CBD in New York from hemp that was grown outside of the state. This gives a big advantage to local hemp farmers.
If you’re planning on growing your cannabis, it is important that you read this introduction to hemp.
Now You Know the Answer to “Is Growing Hemp Legal in the US?”
So, is growing hemp legal in the US? As we can see, the answer is both yes and no. But it definitely leans more to the yes side.
This article should have helped you learn about some of the legal intricacies surrounding this topic. Now, you can make more informed decisions about your relationship with hemp cultivation.
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