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2018 Farm Bill A Boon for Cannabis & Agriculture Industries in 2019

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2018 Farm Bill Brings Boon to Cannabis Industry

Well, the first quarter of most businesses fiscal year has come to an end, and it’s no April Fool’s Day joke, that the 2018 Farm Bill has opened up a lot of opportunities for cannabis farmers and the agricultural industry as a whole. With pilot programs for growing & cultivating cannabis popping up across the country, the 2018 Farm Bill has suddenly created an economic boon for the agricultural industry,

With CBD stores popping up across the country, the demand for cannabis products continues to trend upward, leading to an economic boon for other industries around the country as well. Even major retailers are stepping into the CBD and industrial hemp markets, and states everywhere are being overwhelmed with clarifying state legislation for retailers and farmers alike.

2018 Farm Bill Almost Didn’t Happen

What most people don’t know though is the 2018 Farm Bill almost didn’t happen. Politicians in Washington DC were engaged in heated battles over immigration reform & threatening a government shutdown, which we might note did actually came to fruition, and the 2018 Farm Bill was struggling to make it out off the House of Representatives floor, before the 2018 legislative session ended, failing once before passing on a second vote.

The 2018 Farm Bill had turned into a political leverage piece by politicians from both parties in the House of Representatives, and passed by only 2 votes, with the final vote tally 213-211, with all Democrats voting against the measure, along with 20 Republicans who opposed the bill according to the clerk’s office of the United States House of Representatives Final Roll Call Results of Roll Call 284. This vote would move the bill forward to the Senate.

Easier Time For 2018 Farm Bill in Senate

The bill, H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill then reached the Senate floor, where it had a much easier time in passing, making it off the Senate floor and into conference, with an overwhelming vote of approval, passing 86-11 according to Senate Roll Call Vote 143 of the 115th Congress.

Once in conference committee in the Senate, the conferees came back quickly issuing report number H. Rept. 115-1072. The report was then sent back to a vote on the Senate floor and was approved 87-13 by the Senate.

Final Version Sees Rare Bi-Partisan Support in House of Representatives

It was then sent back to the House of Representatives where it passed with ease this time, 369-47. It was finally signed into law by President Donald Trump on 12/20/2018. We have linked the actions tab of H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 showing the timeline of the bill.

President Trump praised Democrats and Republicans for working together on a bipartisan act. While we aren’t political scientists here at Disciple 420, we do know not much of nothing gets done in Washington D.C. these days, and is one of the most polarizing cities in the country when it comes to political views.

However, just like dozens of artists, activists, and champions of cannabis have said, “Cannabis can bring people together”. I don’t know what better proof you need than hemp bringing Democrats and Republicans together for something with positive change. Not to mention getting Donald Trump to agree with them at the same time.

Hemp & CBD Oil Craze Hits All 50 States

While we don’t like to get too political, it took a lot of legislation to get to this point, and it seems like the hard work of cannabis activists are paying off. Nearly every industry expert thought industrial hemp would be a big boon for the agricultural industry, but I don’t think anyone was expecting the kind of explosion of demand for CBD products that we’ve seen so far.

When you heard politicians talking about cannabis, the majority of them were talking about getting high on marijuana & THC, not about the healing properties of CBD oil. We want to thank all the cannabis activists that worked so hard with such negative people to make this happen. Nearly every state in the country is now embracing the CBD movement and starting to move towards more cannabis friendly legislation.

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Some States Struggling to Get Legislation Passed

Most states are accepting the 2018 Farm Bill and the growth of industrial hemp with open arms, even in states where medicinal marijuana is illegal. Even still language in current state agricultural laws & new federal agricultural laws is conflicting, creating legislative work for a lot of states. Many states are also facing retail legislation & consumer protections issues as well.

Most objections though have been over labeling on the packaging of CBD products and the levels of THC they may contain. Many are also concerned about some of the claims about the benefits of CBD oil, and warn retailers about FDA rules on items like CBD oil. These issues seem to be heading in the right direction, however, there have been some issues about whether CBD oil is considered a nutritional supplement or a clinical drug that would require FDA approval. Limits on amount of allowable THC seem to be the major issue here.

Even states that have medicinal marijuana programs are struggling to get the language in their into compliance with the national law of the 2018 Farm Bil, and the resulting CBD oil industry it created. While most states continue to let retailers operate while these issues are being worked out, but some states like Louisiana are beginning to crack down on CBD oil sales, going as far as issuing a ban on CBD sales until new legislation is passed. Disciple 420 reported on this in an earlier story about the Louisiana CBD ban.

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While some states are banning it until legislation is passed, other states are embracing it, like Texas is removing CBD from their banned substance lists. It seems like too big of an opportunity for the state to generate tax revenue from it, that enforcement of current laws would be futile. From the early data coming in though, states that have made addressing the bill a priority and started industrial hemp pilot programs, are seeing the biggest economic booms. Even states where the crop was already legal are seeing increases in the number of applications for permits and licensing, thanks to major retailers coming into the CBD oil sales game.

From our reporting on the cannabis industry, we have seen the number of requests and petitions for licensing and permitting increasing as well in states across the country. does a great report on the Top Hemp Producing States and even states that have legalized cannabis, trends stayed the same or trended upward.

We have linked the “Hemp Report: Top 10 States”.

Major Retailers Making CBD Oil Orders

It’s no wonder why permitting and licensing requests are up as just last week, 2 major retailers announced they will begin CBD oil based health and beauty products in a number of different states. Walgreen’s and CVS will both carry CBD and hemp-infused health & beauty brands.

This goes without mentioning all the small business gas stations shops, corner stores, head shops, and small business retailers getting into the CBD game. Even stores specializing in just the sale of CBD products are canvassing the landscape of big cities and small towns alike. The health benefits that have been claimed by CBD oil advocates seem to be playing out, but lawmakers are quick to warn about claims of products that haven’t been FDA tested.

Warning to CBD Oil Retailers and Manfacturers

Lawmakers are warning retailers and manufacturers of CBD products to carefully word their labeling in advertising, as making false claims about the benefits of CBD oil would violate FDA guidelines. They are also encouraging lawmakers to require suppliers of CBD oil to verify THC content amounts and start testing on short-term and long-term effects of CBD oil use. They also warn suppliers to follow FDA guidelines on packaging and labeling, and not making false claims about the benefits of the CBD oil products.

The United States Congress is also being warned about addressing legislative issues in regards to the same issues states are having in regards to the 2018 Farm Bill. In FDA Commissioners Scott Gottlieb Final Testimony Before Congress Questions about CBD were raised. The outgoing commissioner recommended they address the legislative issues with CBD oil sooner rather than later.

Here is an excerpt of Commissioner Gottlieb’s testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee from Senator Tammy Baldwin’s YouTube Channel.

Retail Growth Continues Despite Legislation Issues

Even with legislation still pending, retail sales continue to soar. Without final numbers for the first quarter of the year yet available, it’s hard to tell the true economic impact cannabis has had on the economy in 2019 so far. BDS Analytics estimates the economic impact for the entire year to be 23.9 billion, so we are looking for at least a $6 billion to $8 billion dollar economic impact in the first quarter of 2019.

The final numbers for retail sales, acres of hemp grown, products sold, and other key economic indicators will be interesting to see. They’ll get even more interesting once they start coming in after major retailers come on board. As of now, the industrial hemp market is the hottest thing on Wall Street and Main Street. Stay tuned to Disciple 420 for more on this cannabis industry story and other cannabis industry news.

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Rameses Stoner
Web Developer and Digital Marketing Enthusiast turned cannabis advocate.