It’s been a tough week for vaping, but the American hemp industry is gaining massive political support from both sides of the congressional aisle. While San Francisco’s Proposition E passed by a 3-1 margin ushering in a regional ban on the sales of flavored e-liquids, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution designating the week of June 4 as Hemp History Week.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued a press release on May 28 stating that hemp-based cannabidiol or CBD is now considered legal. Hemp is apparently a big hit these days among officials of the federal government. The DEA announcement makes a definitive distinction, however. CBD oils derived from hemp are no longer of the list of federally controlled substances, but marijuana-derived CBD oils still are.
“Products and materials that are made from the cannabis plant and which fall outside the CSA definition of marijuana are not controlled under the CSA. Such products may accordingly be sold and otherwise distributed throughout the United States without restriction under the CSA or its implementing regulations. The mere presence of cannabinoids is not itself dispositive as to whether a substance is within the scope of the CSA; the dispositive question is whether the substance falls within the CSA definition of marijuana.”
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018
In late May 2018, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell decided to fast-track a bill called the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 which will recategorize hemp as an agricultural product. McConnell is from Kentucky, the home of at least five hemp pilot projects currently in operation. By passing the Hemp Farm Act, these pilot projects will become eligible for federal research funds and grants.
Contrary to the current state of political discourse overwhelmingly apparent in Washington, DC, the bill somehow gained immediately bipartisan support led by Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine from Virginia. Coincidentally, Thomas Jefferson was from Virginia, and according to a press release, Tim Kaine claims that Jefferson grew hemp, which is part of the reason why he supports the bill. He also implies that federal funding for hemp-related research projects may be another significant factor behind his decision to support.
“Hemp was grown in Virginia by Thomas Jefferson, and research and input from Virginia agricultural stakeholders, agricultural scientists at JMU and Virginia Tech, and economic development leaders like the Tobacco Commission have shown that it is safe and holds economic promise for rural Virginia.”
Related Article: Top Dems Warner & Kaine join GOP Leader McConnell to legalizehemp
The designation of June 4-10 being Hemp History Week may be a political ploy preparing the American People for what is about to happen this summer. Many insiders expect the Majority Leader to call for a vote on the Hemp Farming Act as early as late June or early July. With bipartisan support, it could land on Donald Trump’s desk for a signature within weeks, if not sooner. McConnell issued the following statement which clearly links both the legalized hemp bill and the history week designation together in what appears to be a targeted marketing strategy.
“Since Kentucky’s earliest days, industrial hemp has played a foundational role in our agricultural history and economy. With our Hemp Farming Act of 2018, I believe that hemp can also be an important part of our future. Removing hemp from the federal list of controlled substances will give our farm communities the opportunity to explore the potential of this versatile crop. I am proud to join with farmers, processors and manufacturers across Kentucky to celebrate Hemp History Week as we work together on the plant’s growing future.”
Even the World Health Organization stands behind the legalization of hemp products because hemp is viewed as non-addictive. Hemp doesn’t get the user stored either, and it is very useful in treating anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even chronic depression. Meanwhile, a hemp-based CBD product named Charlotte’s Web has proven to substantially reduce the severity and frequency of grand mal seizures in patients suffering from epilepsy.
Related Article: Does vaping CBD prevent seizures in epilepsy patients?