Farm Bill Extension Means Hemp Will Grow Big(ger) in 2024
During the past six months, I have been repeatedly asked to predict what would happen with the Farm Bill. This is because the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, better known as the “2018 Farm Bill” expired at the end of September. “Will it change?” “Will hemp be outlawed?” “Will I still be able to sell [insert- THCa, delta-8 THC, D9 gummies, etc]?” “What can we do to ensure that hemp remains legal?” Although I routinely discuss this with lobbyists and associations, the fact is that no one knows what will happen with the next Farm Bill. Fortunately, that issue will not be decided for almost another year, which is plenty of time for the rapidly expanding hemp industry to grow even bigger.
(a) Extension.—Except as otherwise provided in this section and the amendments made by this section, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the authorities (including any limitations on the authorities) provided by each provision of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–334; 132 Stat. 4490) and each provision of law amended by that Act (and for mandatory programs at such funding levels), as in effect on September 30, 2023, shall continue, and the authorities shall be carried out, until the later of—
(1) September 30, 2024; or
(2) the date specified in the provision of that Act or the provision of law amended by that Act.
President Biden is expected to sign the Act. This means that we will not likely have a new Farm Bill until the Fall of 2024. Given that the 2018 Farm Bill is the basis for the hemp cannabinoid market, which Whitney Economics recently reported has a demand of $28.4 billion (more than the marijuana industry and on par with the craft beer industry), maintaining status quo for another year is a good thing for the industry. In addition to an additional window of time to continue its progress of bringing cannabis to people in the US, the extension will allow hemp companies to expand their sales and operations internationally. This is because hemp can cross borders and many current hemp products meet the emerging standards set by countries who are creating cannabis programs.
This does not mean that the hemp industry can take a break from politics. In fact, it is more important than ever to educate your local, state, and national representatives about hemp, hemp products, and their importance to you and to the country.
November 16, 2023
Rod Kight is an international cannabis lawyer. He represents businesses throughout the cannabis industry. Additionally, Rod speaks at cannabis conferences, drafts and presents legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and is the editor of the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, which discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him by clicking here.