The 2018 Farm Bill has most people in the hemp and CBD industry ecstatic. As a customer, you probably haven’t taken the time to read a 1,000-page U.S. Senate bill to figure out what it means for your favorite CBD products—and that’s okay. We did the heavy lifting for you (but if you want to look it over yourself, you can download the bill as a PDF for free here).
Here’s a quick primer on the Farm Bill, the history of cannabis regulation in the US, and why this new bill could mean massive growth for the CBD industry.
What is the Farm Bill?
The United States legislature drafts a new farm bill every five years. It’s an ‘omnibus’ bill in that it covers a wide range of regulations, ranging from agriculture to food and nutrition programs and conservation—everything the United States Department of Agriculture is in charge of.
The first farm bills were drafted during the Great Depression to provide financial assistance to struggling farmers. At the time, farmers were getting hit hard by surpluses that drove prices down and made their main source of income essentially worthless. The Agricultural Adjustment Act was signed into law in 1933 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. It curbed the price problem by paying farmers to not plant crops on parts of their land and also let the government buy up excess crops like wheat. It also included a nutrition program that would be the precursor for food stamps.
The five-year renewal rule was added in 1938’s Agricultural Adjustment Act, and since then the farm bill has been the a