The farming industry of Pennsylvania is clearly changing. The biggest change has something to do with the 2018 Hemp Bill, which is expected to give farmers a whole new market. Hemp is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis and President Trump has recently approved its legalization when the Farm Bill was passed last year.
The Agriculture Department of Pennsylvania has already been giving licenses to growers of the crop but for research purposes. However, now that the Hemp Bill has been approved, the department plans to go full steam ahead in the processing of applications.
Multi-Million Dollar Industry
Hemp is seen as a multi-million dollar industry that’s expected to grow even bigger in the coming years. The Senate Bill will give Pennsylvania farmers continued access to a new market and will place Pennsylvania at the same level as other states like Colorado, which has recently passed legislation on using hemp for food.
Before the passing of the Farm Bill, the DEA considers hemp as a schedule I drug, which makes it not suitable for medical use, since there’s a potential for abuse. Other substances that are classified as Schedule I drugs are marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. Hemp was included in this list the even though it has an extremely small amount of THC, which is not intoxicating.
Senate Bill 335
Senate Bill 335 aims to recognize hemp as an ingredient for foods, cosmetics, herbs, and additives. It seeks to regulate hemp in the same way as other food commodities and ingredients. This bill was introduced by Senator Judy Schwank and co-sponsored by Senator David G. Argall. The Senate Bill requires that hemp products must not contain more than 0.3% of THC, which is less than the psychoactive threshold.
Rules Are At Odds
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of the controlled substance and has allowed for its full commercialization. This measure allows the states to regulate products containing hemp under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Advocates are hoping that the passage of the Farm Bill will provide a full set of clarity for the Cannabidiol or CBD. But it’s not really as easy as it seems. In June, the FDA approved Epidiolex, the first drug made from CBD to be used in treating epilepsy. This further complicated the nature of the hemp industry because, under the FDA, any active ingredient from a drug shouldn’t be used as a food product.
Because of this, the FDA is not sure how they would be able to regulate CBD to be used for food. Although it seems that the statement of the FDA on CBD has greatly evolved in the past years. Many believe that the FDA might refer to a certain amount of CBD pharmaceutical grade and will allow a small amount to be used as food additives.
There have been claims that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to treat anxiety. However, these claims don’t come with FDA approval just yet. CBD products like topical creams, vape juice, and edible oils vary widely in terms of the amount of CBD and quality.