Will the U.S. Have a Fully Legalized Cannabis Industry Soon?

Updated on December 11, 2018
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Finance journalist • Interests: crypto, crowdfunding, tech, marketing • Stocks: biotech, healthcare, commodities, IT • Whiskey enthusiast.

Roughly four years ago, the U.S. Farm Bill made history when it allowed for the cultivation and production of industrial hemp, specifically cannabis Sativa L, which is one of the three main species of cannabis alongside indica and ruderalis.

Cannabis remains to be a controversial plant because it is considered illegal at a Federal level. But with the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, those who believe in the advantages brought by cannabis, have found an avenue to create and promote products centered on this raw material.

However, the cultivation of the plant was only allowed for pure research or through pilot programs which serve as effective experimental trials to gauge the viability of a full scale launch. Hemp that was used for such purposes was also required to contain less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the cannabinoid found in marijuana that causes the high associated with consumption.

The bill has confused many as it failed to clarify several of its provisions. Not only did the prerequisite of hemp containing 0.3 percent or less THC make it more difficult to conduct various research, the bill didn’t elaborate on what or how research was meant to be conducted. On top of that, it failed to address the legality of compounds found in hemp such as cannabidiol (CBD).

As CBD has gained massive popularity for its ability to address various illnesses and common symptoms such as anxiety and chronic pain, it has become a thriving sector despite its uncertain legal status. CBD is still illegal on the federal level as marijuana was banned back in 1970 as part of the Controlled Substances Act, with the government including all cannabinoids as well.

Cannabis was deemed a Schedule 1 substance for supposedly having a high likelihood of abuse as well as an absence of evidence on its medicinal efficacy. As mounting studies continue to show that CBD is a highly capable compound that has been able to treat rare cases of epilepsy such us Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, advocates continue to push for clear and widespread legalization of hemp, which would also officially endorse CBD for consumers.

Revised proposition

Proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Farm Bill 2018 continues to push for the legalization of industrial hemp, which was a very valuable commodity for farmers before it was also banned due to its similarities with cannabis. Hemp is a versatile crop that is used to make fabric, textures, paper, and many others.

This proposition would also widely legalize CBD, and has certainly been on the radar for both consumers and distributors alike.

While the proposal from the Senate to remove hemp from the banned substance list passed with resounding support, the House’s proposal which also passed doesn’t mention hemp in its legislation. There isn’t much time to come up with a new revision, as the current Farm Bill expired last Sept. 30 and representatives will need to figure out a way to hammer out the differences before it officially lands on the desk of President Donald Trump.

It is possible that an official decision could be postponed, as legislators work to try to find a middle ground. This would give them more time to deliberate and come up with an ideal solution.

The 2018 Farm Bill will also address something that the 2014 version failed to include, which is allowing for the transport of hemp seeds across state lines. It will also include hemp on the list of insurance eligible crops, which protects farmers from crop losses due to natural disasters, for example.

If a revised edition legalizing hemp and thus CBD is eventually passed, this would open up wide scale availability of CBD products, while also making the lives of CBD businesses much easier by providing a full range of access to services such as banks if federal regulation is removed.

On top of that, this would also allow full scale research efforts on CBD, which could result in the development of various medicines capable of treating serious diseases and disorders. CBD still has major potential in other areas of its medical applications.

Epidiolex, the very first FDA approved CBD formulated medicine, effectively treats people suffering from Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. However, the price tag of $32,000 a year is something most people will not be able to fork over. Increased competition in a fully legal sector will help produce innovation and more accessible options for those looking to benefit from CBD consumption.

Senator Mitch McConnell has been a longtime supporter of hemp (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0)
Senator Mitch McConnell has been a longtime supporter of hemp (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0)

Growing sector

While negotiations and discussions continue on the finalized version of the 2018 Farm Bill, consumers continue to access CBD through top brand names like PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. (OTCMKTS:POTN). POTN extracts CBD through a meticulous process involving CO2 to refine the CBD oil, removing any impurities and preparing it for commercialization to allow consumers to benefit from its strong healing effects.

CBD has gained a strong reputation for helping people cope with their ailments, and POTN owns a wide lineup of products courtesy of subsidiary Diamond CBD, to cater to all demographics. Edibles in the form of chewy gummies are a popular means of consumption, while vapes provide a soothing and enjoyable experience.

With advocates of CBD pushing for CBD in different forms such as daily supplements, POTN has answered the call with their Meds Biotech lineup, which features pharmaceutically developed capsule to promote wellbeing and optimum health.

CBD for pets is also growing into a significant segment, and POTN’s Medipets lineup features formulated pet food and products aimed at enhancing their health. CBD is safe for pets, and stimulates healing through the endocannabinoid system, which is present in both people and animals.

As legislation continues to push for hemp legalization and CBD, many eyes will be on the legislators who are in the midst of talks to formulate a revised Farm Bill that will also allow for open and unregulated use of the substance.

It’s time that CBD’s merits were widely recognized, and removing its association with marijuana and decriminalizing it will only serve to fuel better and more efficient forms of CBD consumption that can be endorsed by the public.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


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