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Hemp Industry not out of the Weeds Just Yet...

The landmark passage of the 2018 Farm Bill is frequently said to have “legalized” hemp. Indeed, the Farm Bill removed hemp, defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”[1]

But while the DEA may no longer criminally prosecute those who grow, process, extract, sell, or otherwise use or possess hemp merely for such activities, the government is still battling the hemp industry on several fronts. The same day the Farm Bill was signed into law, the FDA issued a statement making clear that the FDA considers the sale of cannabidiol (CBD) for animal or human consumption, in any form, a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act unless such product has been approved by the FDA’s rigorous drug approval process.[2] Despite the nationwide proliferation of CBD products touted for a wide array of benefits for both humans and animals, the FDA has approved only one such product, Epidiolex.[3] Sales of all other CBD products remain illegal.[4] Although the FDA has yet to aggressively enforce its policy, it could crack down at any moment.

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