Hemp looks just like cannabis, because it is cannabis.
Hemp looks just like cannabis, because it is cannabis. AlenaPaulus/Getty

Congress passed their Farm Bill yesterday, which included provisions that remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substance Act. If Donald Trump signs the bill, which he is expected to do so, the non-psychoactive version of cannabis will be legal for farmers to grow in all 50 states.

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The House easily passed the bill after the Senate passed the bill on Tuesday.

Industrial hemp is a legal term (not a botanical one) for any version of cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the active compound in pot that is responsible for getting you high. These plants can be made into a wide variety of things, from building materials and clothing to food and even the pen that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell used to sign the Senate’s Farm Bill.

Industrial hemp was already legal to grow in the U.S. if the farmer applied to a local research program run by a state, university, or Native American tribe. These programs were often difficult to apply to and carried strict rules; Washington’s program had less than 10 farmers growing hemp underneath it.

But that changes if Trump signs this bill. Industrial hemp will be removed from the Controlled Substance Act and considered an agricultural commodity. The CBD industry—CBD is a medicinal compound that can be grown in industrial hemp—is cheering the news, saying that it will significantly expand the market for the non-psychoactive pot compound. The bill makes growing CBD a lot easier, but there are still questions about how the FDA will regulate CBD, which it currently considers an illegal additive to foods and supplements. Although the federal government has not been actively enforcing many of their laws surrounding CBD; You can already buy CBD on Amazon or at your local health food store. Many people in the CBD industry think nationwide retailers, including the two big W’s (Wal-Mart and Walgreens) will be willing to stock CBD if this Farm Bill becomes law.

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The bill almost didn’t make it through the House thanks to Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan slipping in a provision that makes it impossible for Congress to withdraw American support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen before the end of the year. What does a soulless man do when he’s handed America’s wealthy hundreds of billions of dollars while using all of his power to cut social programs for the poor and the elderly? He leaves Congress (remember this is Paul Ryan’s last few weeks in power) making sure the most disadvantaged people on Earth continue to be the victim of American bombs.


But hey, at least hemp is almost legal.

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