by Robyn Ranke, Eskaton Law
For marijuana businesses, the 2018 Farm Bill is landmark legislation. Congress passed the Bill yesterday awaiting the President’s signature into law.
Transportation Of Hemp Across State Lines Allowed
Federal legalization of Hemp will be astounding for the cannabis industry nationwide. Drafted into 807 pages of law is Sec. 10113 [Hemp Production] and Sec. 10114 [Interstate Commerce] of Title X. Sec. 10113 adds “Hemp” to the list of “agriculture commodities” among other things. Sec. 10114(a) allows for “the interstate commerce of hemp or hemp products” and “the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products produced in accordance with [section 10113] . . . through the State or the territory of the Indian Tribe, as applicable.” [Sec. 10114(b)]
Hemp Means CBD
Federal Legislators defined “Hemp” as:
“[T]the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
States May Regulate Hemp Production, But Not Interstate Commerce
The bill allows States and Indian Tribes to regulate Hemp and expressly provides for “No Preemption” of any law of a State or Indian tribe that “regulates the production of hemp” and is “more stringent” than federal law [Sec. 10113.]
However, Federal lawmakers went on to expressly provide for interstate commerce of Hemp and Hemp products [Sec. 10114] – the express language of the bill further states that “No State or Indian Tribe shall prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products produced in accordance with [Sec. 10113.]”
While the Federal government occupies the field of interstate commerce under any circumstances, it will be interesting to see what happens in light of existing state cannabis regulations which make illegal the transport of marijuana across state lines.
Either way, when the President signs this landmark legislation into law, the entire cannabis industry, and commerce alike, will finally have breathing room. For marijuana businesses, hemp would be fully legal according to the Federal Government. Every barrier to entry in banking, commercial real estate, intellectual property and everything in between will lift – advancing the industry one monumental step further to social acceptance of marijuana as simply a commodity just like any other commodity – like cabbage perhaps.
If you would like a highlighted copy of the legislative text for the hemp sections under the 2018 Farm Bill, contact Eskaton Law.
An experienced corporate litigator having worked in both the private and government sectors, Attorney Robyn Ranke has taken a modern business approach to the cannabis industry and in working with cannabis business startups. Throughout her legal career, Robyn has represented a diverse base of business clientele in a variety of industries involving both complex and novel legal matters. Her diverse experience as a business litigator provides a valuable legal platform from which she is uniquely postured to address the regulatory hurdles, costly pitfalls, unique business transactions, and business litigation risks that confront California cannabis business owners today and into the future as state regulations continue to evolve.