CBD and the 2018 Farm Bill
In December of 2018, the Food and Drug Administration signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (a.k.a “The Farm Bill”), something the FDA does once every five years or so. The Farm Bill is a broad piece of legislation that regulates a range of agricultural programs. This newer piece of legislation is gaining a little more attention than its predecessors as it is the first to legalize hemp farming and declassifies hemp as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
The FDA will continue to regulate cannabis products under the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and Public Health Service Act. Read on to learn a little more about CBD, the Farm Bill and what the FDA is doing to regulate it all…
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is used in a wide range of products- from oils to edibles- as a way to promote relaxation, decrease inflammation, and much more. Unlike its counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is non-psychoactive. In other words: it won’t get you high.
You’ve likely heard hemp and marijuana used as inter-changeable terms, leading to a lot of confusion as the Farm Bill applies specifically to hemp. The plant Cannabis sativa has two primary species: hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but hemp has a much higher percentage while containing lower percentages of THC (less than 0.3% as compared to marijuana). So, the Farm Bill and the new FDA regulations apply specifically to hemp-derived CBD. If your CBD is derived from marijuana, it is considered illegal as it may contain higher traces of THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill is notable because it is the first piece of federal legislation that legalizes hemp and removing it from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Schedule 1 controlled substance list. While the 2014 Farm Bill allowed for research on the industrial and consumer uses of hemp, the scope was narrow and still heavily regulated. The 2018 Farm Bill not only significantly broadens the scope for research into these hemp products, but also allows for the cultivation of hemp under new regulations. Additionally, by removing hemp from the DEA’s Schedule 1 controlled substance list, the 2018 Farm Bill has amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970. Substances on this list are strictly monitored and regulated and cannot be prescribed by a physician. Hemp is now excluded from this list and is now being managed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rather than the DEA.
So, what does it all mean?
The biggest takeaway from all this is that the FDA will continue to regulate cannabis-derived CBD products, as hemp has been removed from the CSA of 1970. However, any CBD product (cannabis or hemp) marketed with a therapeutic claim must receive FDA approval before it can be sold. Additionally, CBD products (cannabis or hemp) cannot be added into food or dietary supplements. Despite these federal regulations, it is critical for individuals and retailers to be aware of state laws and regulations as well. Laws pertaining to the use of CBD in any form range from regulatory to prohibition, varying from state to state. In Maryland, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal and a medical marijuana card is not required to purchase it legally.
If you have any questions about the legality of CBD or medical marijuana in Maryland or find yourself in hot water as the result of CBD/marijuana use, don’t hesitate to reach out. All of us at Ferrante, Dill and Hisle LLC make it a priority to remain cognizant of these ever-changing laws and regulations, all so we can better serve our clients! Give us a call today at (410) 535-6100 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.