Happy 2024! It’s a new year, and with new years come new laws. Five years ago, the farm bill legalized hemp on a federal level. While this was good news for many, not everyone was pleased. 2023 marked the expiration of that farm bill. So, what’s the update? What do the hemp laws look like this year? Stay ahead of the curve and find out what this year holds in store for the future of recreational hemp. Read on for the low-down on the farm bill update, and what we can expect to change in the new year.
In the meantime, check out our selection of hemp products rendered legal by the 2018 Farm Bill! Choose from edibles, blunts, and prerolls. We offer a variety of cannabinoids including THCA, HHC, delta 8, and more! Rest assured that all of our products are lab tested, and we’ve earned a 98% customer service rating so you can shop smart and stay lit.
What is the farm bill?
Before we get to the farm bill update, let’s start at the beginning. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, “the farm bill is a package of legislation passed roughly once every five years that has a tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and what kinds of foods are grown”. This bill covers a lot of ground, but what makes it relevant to us specifically is its treatment of hemp.
2018 Farm Bill
In 2018, the farm bill legalized hemp on a federal level. Legally, hemp is defined as cannabis that contains .3% or less of delta 9 THC. The purpose of this aspect of the bill was to legalize hemp for things like clothing, rope, and food. Hemp actually has 50,000 known uses! The stalks can be used to make rope, insulation, textiles, paper, and more. Seeds can be made into food ranging from cooking oil, to flour, to even beer! Like I said, there are a ton of uses, so this really is just an overview, but it’s clear that we would be foolish not to allow this crop to be grown in our country. Why miss out on all of this potential?
An unintended side effect of this update to the farm bill was the legalization of cannabinoids derived from hemp. The first one to take off was CBD. Remember how that suddenly seemed to be everywhere in 2018? CBD is found naturally in hemp, and in pretty large quantities. Eventually, scientists realized that they could use hemp to produce other cannabinoids. These include psychoactive cannabinoids that, unlike CBD, could get their users high. Since these would be derived from hemp, they would now be perfectly legal on a federal level.
The update on hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill opened the floodgates in terms of hemp-derived cannabinoids. Previously unheard of cannabinoids like delta 8 finally had their moment in the spotlight! But not everyone was psyched about this “loophole” in agricultural law. Across the nation, constituents and lawmakers alike have called for a revision of the legislation that legalized these psychoactive cannabinoids. While federal law has not budged, individual states have implemented laws of their own to either prohibit or regulate hemp-derived cannabinoids.
Farm bill update
I mentioned above that the farm bill gets an update every five years. If you did the math, that means there should have been an update in 2023. Technically the 2018 Farm Bill expired in September. However, instead of an update, the government has passed an extension. In November, a funding bill was put on the table to avoid a government shutdown. This bill was first approved by the House, then the Senate, and was finally signed by President Biden. This funding bill includes a year-long extension of the farm bill, to September 2024. So, we will have to wait another nine months in order to find out what’s in store for the future of hemp-derived cannabinoids in America.
The bottom line
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp on a federal level and opened the door for lesser known cannabinoids, like delta 8, to have their moment across America. While not everyone is a fan of this legislation, hemp remains legal on a federal level. That being said, laws still vary from state to state. Definitely be aware of the laws in your state before indulging, and check them regularly as they change frequently. While the farm bill did not receive an update in 2023 as planned, its extension is only valid until September of this year, and it will be interesting to see what changes, if any, the hemp laws undergo in the future.