It’s finally official, a new era for American agriculture has begun! With the historic signing of the Farm Bill of 2018, industrial hemp has been federally legalized for cultivation in the United States for the first time since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Creating a massive opportunity for local farmers and the agricultural community at large.
While there are still some hurdles to surpass, this bill offers a path forward to farmers needing a vital alternative crop option, especially those involved in Tobacco cultivation. It also green lights many innovations that were previously deterred by federal regulations and the elevated cost of hemp material due to the necessity of importing it from foreign countries.
With developments quickly being made in the study of hemp cultivation, we expect hemp to quickly become a staple crop, much like soybeans and corn, for farmers in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina among many others.
One giant leap forward brought about by the Farm Bill, for both future hemp farmers and those already involved in state pilot programs, is the new ability to insure hemp crops against losses due to natural disturbances and unforeseen crop damage. Up until today, it was impossible to insure hemp crops due to its status as a federally regulated substance. Causing detrimental losses to many farmers in the path of hurricanes throughout this past year.
As we keep an eye on the news for more information about this victory, let’s all take a well-earned breath of relief and celebrate the hard work and dedication of the thousands of determined farmers, agricultural leaders, and hemp innovators that poured there lives into making this moment a reality. We also would like to send a special thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who ensured that the hemp initiative was implemented into this years farm bill.