Fans of CBD are rejoicing this week thanks to the U.S. Farm Bill, which President Trump signed into law on Thursday. Last week, Congress voted to pass the bill with a vote of 369 to 47 in the House of Representatives. It passed in the Senate with a vote of 87 to 13.
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, better known as the Farm Bill, legalizes the production of hemp, a form of cannabis and a source of CBD. While this development doesn’t clarify CBD’s legal status (the Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies it as illegal), it does make it easier for CBD product manufacturers to do business. For instance, it will now be easier to deal with federally regulated institutions, such as banks and credit card processors, which, in the past, could be challenging to work with when retailing CBD products, because of hemp’s drug classification. Another benefit to the industry is the fact that researchers will now have better access to CBD, which should lead to more trials and studies on its reputed health benefits.
Here, we get the scoop on how some in the industry feel about the new legislation and its impact.
"I think one of the greatest impacts the U.S. Farm Bill will have on the CBD industry, other than alleviating consumer consumer trepidation, is that it will legitimize the industry and the businesses operating within it by allowing for proper banking, credit card processing, paid marketing, and partnerships with nationwide corporate accounts. As of now, many hemp companies have had to fund their own ventures and keep money on hand, because banks won't offer them an account or service. Our company alone has been shut down by credit card processing company after processing company. We've had spa booking sites shut down, funds withheld, paid social media ads denied, educational classes flagged, and the list goes on. We've really had to be on our toes in order to keep the business afloat with all the restrictions surrounding hemp. Now that companies will have access to larger platforms and resources, we will be able to reach more people and have a much more powerful impact on the health and wellness industry. Simply relinquishing the fear of being shut down every day will allow hemp companies the space to focus more energy on research, education, and creating the best products and services we can."—Shauna Blanch, co-owner and COO, Color Up Therapeutics
"Passing of the Farm Bill 2018 will be a monumental victory for the original cash crop hemp and its many, many benefits. From a medicinal and herbal perspective, CBD is just the beginning for cannabinoid therapies and hemp-based healing. We will experience a hemp renaissance and fully realize the potential of this sacred plant for humanity, for the earth, and for future generations."—Kim Collier, cofounder and director, CollierConcepts
"The Farm Bill passage will be a major victory—no doubt about that. It will finally erase the grey area surrounding hemp-derived CBD. This will probably open the flood gates of personal-care products that have been waiting to go to market. We can expect to see even more of the 'your brand here' private-label products that are already on the market. The passage should ease payment-processing issues around CBD, so that retailers can use mainstream payment-processing providers without fear of closure. And the DEA can no longer threaten to remove CBD from store shelves and continue to squelch business from being done. I am most excited about the Farm Bill passage, because it will ease the fears surrounding CBD for spa owners and retailers, so that small businesses like mine who have been making and selling CBD skincare products for years can do so freely."—Janet Schriever, founder, Code of Harmony
For more on CBD, check out our recent Beauty Buzz webinar on this headline-making ingredient.