The laws surrounding hemp and other cannabinoids can be confusing. Whether it’s for industrial, medical, or recreational; the US federal state laws are confusing. Several states permit products for medicinal use, provided they are hemp products and/or contain minuscule THC levels. But they restrict cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of the hemp plant and its derivatives. So, why is hemp a restricted product?
To say that the US laws are confusing is putting it mildly. For starters, the US federal laws can be different from each state’s laws. For that reason, when you research hemp laws, the result can be confusion.
Why is Hemp a Restricted Product?
Although many states allow the sale and distribution of hemp products, none are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Association). More clinical research must occur before the FDA approve these. However, up until recently, federal restrictions made the study of cannabis (including hemp and CBD) challenging, if not impossible.
But before we get too carried away, let’s get clear on one issue:
Is Hemp Legal?
The answer is yes. Hemp is legal. However, heavy restrictions come with that legality.
What are these restrictions?
Hemp Cannot Contain More Than 0.3% THC
This is to curb the psychoactive substance use. If cannabis contains more than 0.3% THC, then it no longer carries the “hemp” label and, as such, is no longer legal as “hemp.” This is according to section 10113 of the famous Farm Bill. If a hemp plant cultivar tests with THC higher than 0.3%, it will automatically reclassify as an addictive substance. As such, the farm bill offers no legal protection.
It’s All About the Money, Honey
Another restriction faced by hemp is that states and the federal government share regulatory power over hemp and hemp products. This, again, falls under section 10113 of the Farm Bill. Any state department of agriculture consults with the governor and law enforcement to send a plan to the USDA secretary. To make a long, boring story short, any hemp cultivation needs USDA approval before going ahead with any plan. Licenses, regulations, policies, and complying with federally-run plans are just some of the restrictions hemp cultivation faces in the USA.
Civilizations have used hemp for centuries. You can explore how ancient societies used hemp to ease and facilitate childbirth. The decorative tombs of powerful emperors also featured the plant. It’s not a new plant. In addition, hemp has also been used for centuries as an industrial fiber, long before any legislation, restriction, or large corporation got wind of its uses. In fact, it only faced illegality in the early years of the 1900s. Now, it’s once again one of the fastest-growing agricultural products on the planet. Hemp finally seems to be taking on an expanded role in our current society.