The History Of Hemp

    • Kentucky quietly passes SB 218, clarifying the role of the KDA in relation to Kentucky's hemp regulation.
    • The 2017 Omnibus Spending Bill passes, including previous hemp language and clearly articulating state/international line transportation.
    • Expectations of the introduction of The Hemp Farming Act of 2017 are high.

    • The USDA, in conjunction with co-signers from DEA/DOJ and FDA/HSS, issues a Statement of Principles that signifies the federal acceptance of hemp.
    • NIFA, part of the USDA, announces that it will accept hemp-related projects for funding grants.
    • The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) clarifies its support of hemp, hemp-derived CBD, and corresponding agricultural development for its farmers and processors.
    • Various other governmental actors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, provide further written support for hemp as an agricultural commodity.
    • The KDA issues its 2017 Policy Guide, the nascent hemp industry's most significant regulatory guide.

    • A U.S. Agricultural Appropriations Bill contains an amendment allowing for the movement of hemp plant matter, including seeds, across state lines.
    • Congress signs the Omnibus Act, which further protects our partnering farm's program by preventing federal monies from being spent to "prohibit the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated in accordance with" Section 7606 of the U.S. Farm Bill.

    • U.S. Farm Bill (Section 7606) creates a federal structure for state-level industrial hemp pilot programs engaging in growth, cultivation, and marketing. Corresponding state legislation and regulatory structure provides a federally legal architecture for low-THC hemp production.

    • All cannabis, including hemp, is not federally approved, regulated, or lawful except under DEA license as a Schedule 1 drug agricultural commodity (i.e., food).
    • Hemp imports of material sourced from stalk and seed only had increased materially since a 2004 9th Circuit ruling where HIA won the right to import hemp products, expressly omitting inclusion of the hemp flower.
    • By 2010, hemp foods are an essential staple in millions of individual's diets. Tens of thousands of hemp acres are grown in Canada. Over 30 countries product industrial hemp including Australia, China, Great Britain, France, Russia, and Canada.

    • The U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labeling of products containing alcohol, opiates, cocaine, and cannabis, among others.
    • In 1914, The Harrison Act defined use of marijuana as a crime.
    • In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which criminalized marijuana. Dr. William C. Woodward testifies before Congress on behalf of the AMA stating "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug" and warned that a prohibition "loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis."
    • Cannabis is removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and its medicinal use is no longer recognized in America in 1941.
    • In 1957, hemp is banned in the U.S. due to misconceptions around different types of cannabis plants.
    • The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 recognizes hemp as marijuana.
    • In 1971, the first evidence is found suggesting that marijuana may help glaucoma patients.
    • Nabilone, a cannabinoid-based medication, appears in 1975.
    • California, the first state to ban marijuana use, became the first state to re-legalize medical marijuana in 1996.

    • Cannabis is added to The U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
    • Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
    • French, Irish, and British physicians publish cannabis research in medical journals.
    • CBN, a cannabinoid is identified in 1890.
    • In 1895, American chemists isolate what they think is the active component in cannabis.

    • American farmers are required by law to grow hemp in Virginia and other colonies.
    • The Declaration of Independence is drafted on hemp paper.
    • Medical marijuana appears in The New England Dispensatory.

Legality of Hemp Products

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) changed the legal status of hemp in the United States. Section 7606 of that bill conveyed the ability to grow, cultivate, process, and market hemp to state Departments of Agriculture and institutions of higher learning as long as research projects in accordance with state and federal law were conducted. In order to be federally legal, hemp must be industrial. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is the authority on whether or not something is true industrial hemp, and as such, we comply with their testing.

Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill opened a small path to accessing this American-grown superfood, but it wasn't until issuance of a Statement of Principles by the USDA (co-signed by the DOJ/DEA and HHS/FDA) in August, 2016, that federal agencies had a legal basis for the broad acceptance of industrial hemp. Most of the legal questions regarding the movement of industrial hemp and hemp-derived products over state and international lines were removed by recent clarifications.

Stemming from its long history as the dominant American supplier of industrial hemp products, Kentucky's leadership in hemp reform has ensured that Kentucky's farmers and processors are in the vanguard of this re-emerging agricultural commodity. In a jurisdiction famous for its farmers and its hemp, Kentucky-grown industrial hemp enjoys the clarity of rules designed to regulate the agricultural production of a re-purposed crop.

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