The 2018 Farm Bill left no question as to the legality of hemp when it removed the crop – and its derivatives like CBD – from the definition of “marijuana” as listed within the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. The measure gave the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulatory authority over how hemp could be grown under federal guidelines. That said, states were given the option to assert primary regulatory authority over hemp growth and production inside its own borders. States that wanted to do this needed to submit plans to the USDA.
Although states weren’t given a strict deadline for submission of their own plans, it was noted in USDA interim rules that previous federal statute governing cultivation of hemp (the 2014 Farm Bill) expires at the end of October. That means hemp industry insiders in states that don’t turn in their hemp cultivation and production plans prior to Oct. 31, 2020 may have issues if their practices are not consistent with federal law.
As a longtime Los Angeles CBD lawyer, I have been closely watching these developments in California. In 2019, state lawmakers passed SB-153, a measure that required the state’s attorney general and department of food and agriculture to team up and put forth a hemp production plan to the federal agriculture department by no later than May 2020. However, that did not happen. According to the USDA, the feds are still waiting on California’s plan. Continue reading