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Federal Legalization of Hemp

The production of industrial hemp was banned in 1970 as a result of the war on drugs and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.  Hemp cultivation was banned since it is from the same species as cannabis and was considered just as illegal.  Even though hemp is not intoxicating, at the time, it was difficult if not impossible to distinguish the difference between hemp and cannabis.  To this day, the only way to determine the difference is through laboratory testing.

Hemp cultivation was allowed on an experimental basis in 2014 under the Agricultural Act of 2014 and it was federally legalized in 2018 under the 2018 United States Farm Bill.  Industry regulations by State Departments of Agriculture are currently in place to ensure that cultivated hemp is not marijuana.  Hemp cultivation is authorized for laboratory certified seed strains that have been tested to produce less than a .3% level of THCD9.  Cultivators are also required to have hemp crops tested by Agricultural Commissioners’ Offices for THCD9 levels 30 days prior to harvest.  Hemp crops that have more than a .3% level of THCD9 must be destroyed.

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