Understanding the laws that govern the hemp industry may seem like something that requires a degree, but it’s actually more cut and dry than you might think. In recent years, widespread decriminalization and advanced scientific study have led to a better comprehension of hemp’s intrinsic value.
By virtue of this new-found knowledge, legislators have begun establishing measures by which to regulate and otherwise legalize the manufacturing and selling of this agricultural marvel. Below we’ll discuss the legality of hemp production as well as the legality of procuring and selling hemp flower.
HEMP FLOWER LEGALITY IN THE UNITED STATES
From an historical perspective, hemp has long been considered an outlaw crop, something that was strictly prohibited by Federal law. The cannabis plant family from which CBD hemp flower hails has been the subject of many restrictions from as far back at 1906.
Hemp prohibition commenced in the 1920s and was classified as a drug by the mid-1930s. Much of the stigma surrounding hemp was engineered by an establishment which felt that the use of hemp in textile production and so forth threatened the economic viability of competing products.
In more recent years, a new generation of thinkers reconsidered hemp innate value as a diverse and malleable compound, one that could be used to produce everything from biofuel and soil purification to jewelry, paper products and plastics.
A 1998 study published in Environmental Economics found hemp to be environmentally friendly by virtue of the decrease in land use and other atmospheric factors. This study posited that hemp might place a role in reducing our ecological footprint.
In April of 2009, House Republican Ron Paul (Texas) introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act which sought to make a clear distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp. Although no additional action was taken to pass this piece of legislation, it left an impression on Congressional leaders and remained at the forefront of the national dialogue.
In 2018, President Trump signed a $867 billion Farm Bill that not only provides financial aid to U.S. Farmers but, also, legalizes industrial hemp as a crop. This landmark legislation enables American artisans to ply their trade without threat of penalty or unreasonable taxation.
The push for this legislation comes amid support from environmental groups who hope the production of nonpsychotropic hemp will ease or eliminate our economy’s dependence upon so-called “dirty” cotton.
So far the Farm Bill has made it possible for American farmers to achieve incredible economic growth. Since its inception the hemp industry has become a multi-million dollar industry and top economists anticipate it becoming a multi-billion dollar industry in due time.
According to a report by the Brightfield Group, CBD hemp is expected to hit $1 billion by 2020. That’s a lotta lettuce!
Labeling requirements may also vary from state to state. For example, in Utah CBD producers are expected to place a code on their labels that proves it is legal. This is a simple and effective way for the conservative western state to prevent users from falling ill due to the presence of synthetic CBD products.
Similarly the state of Indiana makes it mandatory that CBD manufacturers provide detailed labeling on all products containing CBD.
The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has also imposed mandatory requirements on the production and distribution of CBD hemp, although these mandatory requirements are far more opaque than those of individual state and local government agencies.
At this time, the FDA has not approved CBD hemp as a “dietary supplement.” As such, it may only be sold as an industrial application, unofficial botanical or research compound. Because of the lack of specificity by the FDA, producers and proprietors should take pains to be extremely prudent in how they market and sell hemp products.
One step that wholesalers can taken when offering CBD hemp products to their customers is to stress the presence of cannabinoid and terpene content, avoiding the use of isolated CBD in any marketing materials.
It is strictly verboten for CBD hemp companies to make any medical claims where CBD or hemp are concerned. Do NOT tell consumers that CBD hemp flower cures, prevents or otherwise treats any ailment or medical condition.
CBD hemp flower should be treated as a viable textile and environmentally-friendly plant with restorative effects that may or may not relax those who wish to unwind after a particularly stressful work day.
CBD hemp flower is not a remedy, it’s a recreational smoke and a vehicle for other aromas and flavors. Any company that makes claims of any health benefits do so at the risk of perjury or penalty. The prospective liability of such claims should be discussed with legal experts to ensure legally defensible product advertising.
HOW TO PROPERLY LABEL CBD HEMP FLOWER
The front of every package should provide the net weight and number of hemp flower buds on the display panel. Consult with your state legislator to determine whether their laws require any additional disclosure in this area.
Your display label should also carry a statement of identity (,e.g. industrial hemp flower, CBD hemp extract, et al.). Products that do not feature a statement of identity may be seized by the applicable authority.
Companies should also consider providing specific amounts of each substance contained within a package (,e.g. Contains 19.2% CBD and less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC). On the reverse of your container you may also provide percentages of terpenes and other content.
Last but not least we urge you to strongly consider placing emphasis on hemp or full spectrum hemp rather than underscoring “CBD.” The term “CBD” alone has been abused by many shady entities and has drawn scrutiny as a result. It is always best to focus on the fact that your product is hemp-based as it is industrial hemp that is legal in the U.S.
When in doubt reach out! Here at Industrial Hemp Farms we are all too happy to walk you through the basics of buying, marketing and selling industrial hemp flower. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are all too eager to talk shop with someone they’re not cooped up with day in and day out (I’m talkin’ to you, Jerry!).
Drop us an email or give us a buzz. We’re here to help you with all of your industrial hemp needs.
George Mouratidis works as a full-time copywriter and journalist. He is the founder of WeedCopywriter.com, a bespoke content writing agency for the cannabis industry. George is a regular editor for many industry publications, as well as corporate blogs. He is also the co-writer of the book Ganja Hustle; a hit cannabis growing guide for the USA and Canada markets. When he is not writing, George likes to work out, trying new foods and playing with his cat. Currently, he lives in Greece.