Some big changes are coming to the hemp industry as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The impact the latest Farm Bill has on the hemp industry is monumental. The era of hemp probation is over, because the bill removes it from the controlled substances list.
The plant will now be out of the hands of the DEA, and become the responsibility of the FDA to regulate.
Hemp is now considered to be an agricultural commodity and will be treated like any other crop. So North Dakota farmers will be able to get crop insurance to cover their hemp plants.
So how does this affect the everyday consumer?
Well right now, one of the biggest markets for hemp is CBD oil. KX News sat down with the owner of a local natural health products store, who says she will have hemp-derived CBD oil back on the shelves next week. This comes after it was confiscated by Bismarck Police, and she was told to stop selling it in May of 2017.
Terry’s Health Products Owner Lonna Brooks shares, “It’s absolutely a first step, it’s huge. We’ve been waiting for this.”
Having Hemp CBD on the shelves is a big deal for many North Dakotans, who currently have to order it online, and fear its legality.
Hemp CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound taken from a hemp plant. It’s often used in an oil form, and it’s taken in doses of drops under the tongue for a wide-range of medical conditions, including chronic pain and mental health disorders.
Maureen Kendall started using it a year and a half ago, to combat her vertigo.
She explains, “For a long time, I suffered with the whole world moving constantly, the entire world shifts back-and-forth.”
She says nothing the doctors gave her would work or it was an addictive medication, which was not an option for her.
Hemp CBD changed her life.
Kendall adds, “I’m not dizzy anymore! And that is incredible. When you go through that for as long as I did, where the world is constantly moving, it really is a downer. I mean, it’s just depressing.”
But when it comes to Hemp CBD, Kendall stresses, there’s a huge variety on the market.
Lonna Brooks has a few recommendations for finding a product that is pure:
She recommends using organic CBD, meaning the company is the organic farmer, processor and packager all in one. She says any good company will have a cannabinoids profile that shows what’s in their batch.
It’s also a good idea to find a bottle under 0.13 milligrams, as anything larger likely includes a carrier oil, which is unnecessary.
Brooks says, “As hemp as an industry and as an agricultural product continues to become more accepted, people will really understand even more what CBD is and just all of the great benefits it has to offer.”
Seven years ago Stacey Castleman was blessed with her daughter Ari. It’s been a new challenge for the mom of four, because Ari has special needs.
Castleman shares, “I think sometimes we get stuck in a box of ‘It is what it is, just move on.'”
About 3 years ago, she started researching outside the box, and read that hemp CBD oil increases brain development.
Castlesman explains, “The first thing once we started with the hemp oil, was her speech just blossomed. We went from about two to three word sentences, and now, we count count up to seven and eight.”
That’s just the brink of what has changed in the Castlemans’ lives.
With the advent of the new Farm Bill, Stacey and Maureen feel more confident they won’t lose what they call, ‘a saving grace’.
Maureen Kendall told us, she hopes not only everyone in the US who needs CBD oil will someday have access to it, but she hopes doctors will begin to recommend it as an alternative for their patients.
But there are still some discrepancies between federal and state law about the legality of hemp derived CBD oil.
Brooks says it’s important to make sure that the state is in line with the federal government to clarify what will and won’t be legal in North Dakota.
She’s working alongside State Senator Erin Oban on legislation to clear up the gray area.
Senator Oban says the problem is, cities are interpreting the law differently.
The Democratic North Dakota State Senator explains, “So what I’m trying to do, is to help alleviate that concern and put everyone on the same playing field. And make sure CBD oil, which is a derivative of hemp, not marijuana, is something that our retailers can sell.”
The federal Farm Bill already says that Hemp is now legal, but she says it’s important to remove it from the Controlled Substances Act in the state constitution so there can be no confusion for law enforcement agencies.