The U.S. Department of Agriculture has at last issued the text of its long-awaited interim final rule pertaining to the regulation of domestic hemp. The rule is considered in immediate effect as soon as its published in the Federal Register.
The rules were required as part of the plan to implement the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the production of commercial hemp as an agricultural commodity. The law also explicitly removed hemp from the list of federal controlled substances, marking it distinct from its cannabis cousin, marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are derived from the cannabis plant, but hemp contains very little to no THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets people high. Hemp can be used in a broad variety of products, from paper to lotion to clothing.
But as our Los Angeles hemp business attorneys can explain, these new rules don’t automatically make hemp production legal everywhere in the country. It is expressly legal in 46 states, but the farm bill did give states discretion to decide whether to continue to ban growth of the crop within their borders. As it stands, South Dakota, Idaho, Mississippi and New Hampshire have explicitly banned hemp farming and production.