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Farm Bill Signing Ceremony!!!

The moment has arrived!

We are so excited to announce that in a matter of hours today at 2:30 pm Eastern, President Trump will be signing the Farm Bill. Tune in at 2:30 PM EST here to watch LIVE.

At that time, hemp and its derivates will be permanently removed from the Controlled Substance Act.

For those of you who have some questions about what happens next, you are in for a *SURPRISE*! The Hemp Roundtable General Counsel, Jonathan Miller – who drafted this widely circulated summary of the Farm Bill last week — will be hosting a Facebook Live Q&A event at 3:00pm Eastern following the signing! Be sure to like the Hemp Roundtable Facebook page so you receive the notification when he goes live. It’s an exciting time for hemp. We thank you all for everything you have done to get us here, and we look forward to working with all of our Hemp Supporters as this industry keeps moving forward!

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What Does the 2018 Farm Bill Do?

ANALYSIS BY U.S. HEMP ROUNDTABLE GENERAL COUNSEL JONATHAN MILLER

Late in the evening of December 10, 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill House/Senate Conference Committee released its Conference Report. The 807-page document is nearly half a foot tall. Hemp is discussed in only a few handfuls of pages. But the impact on the industry is monumental:

• The era of hemp prohibition is over. Hemp is now permanently removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). It is forever deemed an agricultural commodity, no longer mistaken as a controlled substance, like marijuana.

• By redefining hemp to include its “extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives,” Congress explicitly has removed popular hemp products — such as hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) — from the purview of the CSA. Accordingly, the Drug Enforcement Administration no longer has any possible claim to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products. This should give comfort to federally regulated institutions — banks, merchant services, credit card companies, e-commerce sites and advertising platforms — to conduct commerce with the hemp and hemp product industry.

• Hemp farmers now may finally access needed crop insurance and can fully participate in USDA programs for certification and competitive grants.

• State and Tribal governments may impose separate restrictions or requirements on hemp growth and the sale of hemp products – however, they cannot interfere with the interstate transport of hemp or hemp products. We are hopeful that local and state officials will follow Congress’ lead, as well as the statements and resolutions of the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that declare, after intense scientific scrutiny, that CBD is safe, non-toxic, and non-addictive.

• The FDA continues to exercise jurisdiction over the regulation of ingestible and topical hemp products. We applaud the agency’s continued efforts to crack down on bad actors who undermine the industry through misguided marketing claims. And while we are concerned about non-binding statements made by the FDA that have led some state and local officials to question the legality of the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD, we are hopeful that we can work with the agency to clarify that CBD – which their own scientists concluded has no abuse potential and does not pose a risk to public health – should not be withheld from Americans who count on it for their health and wellness.

SECTION BY SECTION

• Section 7129 (p. 313): Includes hemp in USDA’s supplemental and alternative crops programs.

• Section 7501 (p. 338): Includes hemp in USDA’s critical agricultural materials programs.

• Section 7605 (p. 347): Orders the USDA Secretary to prepare a report on the 2014 Farm Bill pilot program, and then repeals that program one year after the new permanent hemp program is created.

• Section 10113 (p. 429): The guts of the new permanent legalization regime:

• Section 297A (p. 429) Defines hemp as all parts of the plant less than 0.3% THC, including “derivatives,” “extracts” and “cannabinoids” and permits hemp production in all states and territories.

• Section 297B (a)-(d) (p. 429) Empowers states and Tribes to submit plans to USDA to implement a permanent hemp growing program. Requires information gathering, testing, inspection and disposal procedures. The USDA Secretary must sign off on, or reject, the plan within 60 days, and consult with the Attorney General. The Secretary can later audit state programs and work with the states to develop corrective action plans where there is noncompliance.

• Section 297B(e)(p. 431): Orders states and Tribes to develop procedures to address violations, including corrective action in the case of negligence.

• Section 297B(e)(3)(B) (p. 432): Individuals who commit drug felonies cannot participate in state or Tribal growth programs for 10 years following the date of their conviction. However, participants in the 2014 Farm Bill pilot programs are grandfathered in to participate in permanent programs despite any prior felony committed.

• Section 297C (p. 432): States and Tribes are required to maintain information on lands where hemp is grown and testing, enforcement, inspection and disposal procedures. The USDA Secretary must collect such information to be accessible in real time to local, state and federal law enforcement.

• Section 297D (p. 434): The USDA Secretary is required to promulgate guidelines and regulations and submit an annual report to Congress on the program’s implementation.

• Section 297D(c)(p. 434): Nothing in the new law affects the FDA’s authority under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or the Public Health Service Act. Section 10114 (p. 435): Nothing in the act prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp, nor can States or Tribes prohibit the transportation of hemp or hemp products through their territory. Title XI (p. 439): Hemp farmers are made eligible for crop insurance, and marketability requirements for the crop insurance program can be waived.

• Section 12619 (p. 540): Hemp is removed from the definition of “marihuana,” and THC found in hemp is excluded from the definition of a controlled substance.

Key notes from the Conference Report Managers’ Summary:

p. 738: The Managers note that “state and Tribal governments are authorized to put more restrictive parameters on the production of hemp, but are not authorized to alter the definition of hemp or put in place policies that are less restrictive.”

p. 738: The Managers note that the USDA Secretary must consult with the Attorney General regarding approval of state or Tribal plans, but “the Managers intend that the final decision to be made by the Secretary.” States or Tribes can appeal or resubmit plans that are rejected or revoked.

p. 739: Any drug felonies committed after the permanent program begins will ban participants from participating, regardless of whether they participated in the 2014 Farm Bill pilot program.

p. 739: The USDA Secretary must make program information accessible in real time to law enforcement, and is encouraged to develop a memorandum of understanding to define the parameters of this information sharing.

p. 739: “While states and Indian tribes may limit the production and sale of hemp and hemp products within their borders, the Managers, in Section 10122, agreed to not allow such states and Indian tribes to limit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products through the state or Indian territory.”

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is the hemp industry’s leading business trade association. The Roundtable involves more than 60 businesses – representing all parts of the hemp food chain, from seed to sale – as well as all of the major national grassroots organizations in the industry. The Roundtable’s primary mission has been to support lobbying efforts to secure permanent legalization of hemp and hemp products at the federal and state level.

Jonathan Miller, General Counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, is the Member-in-Charge of Frost Brown Todd LLC (Lexington KY) and the former Kentucky State Treasurer.

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Senate Passes Farm Bill, Hemp Farming Will Be Legalized!

The Farm Bill conference committee negotiators released the conference report late last night and its excellent news for the hemp industry. Just this afternoon the Senate passed the Farm Bill 87-13.

We expect the bill to pass and be signed by the president within a matter of days. Thanks to everyone who wrote asking for Congress to support hemp in the Farm Bill! We couldn’t achieve this without your support!
We are disappointed that the committee did not remove this counterproductive provision entirely. However, they did agree to changes that will not exclude drug felons who already have a hemp license.

The bill is expected to be voted on in the House on Wednesday. Then it goes to the Presidents desk. This is a huge moment for everyone who has advocated for hemp farming in the U.S.

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FARM BILL UPDATE – December 4th

As reported in this space earlier, a deal has been reached on the 2018 Farm Bill that includes the full text of the Hemp Farming Act, providing permanent legalization of hemp and popular hemp products like cannabidiol (CBD). Final passage of the bill was expected to take place this week, before Congress adjourns for the holidays.

However, in honor of the nation’s mourning for the late President George H. W. Bush, the House has canceled all votes for this week, while the Senate will not convene until after the Bush funeral today.

The next votes in the House are scheduled for Monday morning, December 10, so the Farm Bill is expected to be passed sometime that week.  While you can never predict what will happen on Capitol Hill, the stars look bright for imminent permanent legalization.  Read more here.

Keep calm and continue to follow this space for further updates.  In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance to contact your Members of Congress to urge them to support the Farm Bill with hemp legalization, please use our easy online portal:

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We Now Accept Credit Cards … Really!

We are very happy to announce that Herb-a-lites is one of the first Hemp and CBD merchants who can now accept all major Credit and Debit cards! Through our extensive network of merchant processing contacts, we were called last week by a long-time contact who shared with us a breakthrough opportunity with a major US bank and the 2nd largest credit card processing company to obtain secure credit card processing.

Unlike the numerous processors we have had for short periods of time, this solution is 100% transparent and offers us traditional financing terms and the knowledge that we will not be shut down for openly offering hemp products.

When you arrive at our checkout page just select the “Pay by Credit Card” option and a simple dropdown window will appear where you can enter your card information and complete your purchase.

This change is partly due to the knowledge that with the imminent passage of the Farm Bill as soon as this month, financial institutions are stepping into this industry with the full confidence that industrial hemp will join the ranks of other agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn, and soy.

We are building up our product inventories to assure that the additional ease of ordering can be matched by Herb-a-lites products. Happy shopping and we look forward to serving you soon.

 

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2018 Farm Bill Update

Here’s a report from Daniel Cameron of Frost Brown Todd, the Roundtable’s lead DC lobbyist and the former Legal Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“We will finish the farm bill before the end of the year,” according to Majority Leader McConnell after a meeting with President Trump yesterday to discuss lame-duck session priorities. This comes on the heels of him saying at an event in Kentucky last week that the hemp provisions “will be in there, I guarantee you that.”

Plus, there have been reassuring statements from the chairmen of the Senate and House Agriculture committees. Chairman Pat Roberts of the Senate is reported saying that he is hopeful that a deal will come together by Monday. While Chairman Conaway of the House is quoted as saying, “[t]here are a few things, but we’re darn close,” concerning progress on the bill.

The commentary from the chairmen and the Majority Leader are encouraging. Everyone appears to want to pass the bill before going home for the Holidays and the conclusion of the 115th Congress, and for good reason. Keep in mind that next year the makeup of the House membership will be different, with a Democrat majority and new chairs for the committees. This could complicate the farm bill process if it is not finalized this year.

To avoid complexity, the better outcome for the majority of the members in the House and Senate is to get it done by the end of December.

There are 12 days left on the legislative calendar, although that can be extended if necessary. Next week could be pivotal, given that Chairman Roberts has indicated a deal could be forthcoming on Monday.

As always, we will keep you posted with relevant information. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, keep the pressure on Congress: Let them know it’s high time to pass the 2018 Farm Bill with all of the hemp provisions of the Hemp Farming Act.  Please use our portal at the link below.

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Why Is CBD Everywhere?

By Alex Williams – New York Times

Cannabidiol is being touted as a magical elixir, a cure-all now available in bath bombs, dog treats and even pharmaceuticals. But maybe it’s just a fix for our anxious times.

It’s hard to say the precise moment when CBD, the voguish cannabis derivative, went from being a fidget spinner alternative for stoners to a mainstream panacea.

Maybe it was in January, when Mandy Moore, hours before the Golden Globes, told Coveteur that she was experimenting with CBD oil to relieve the pain from wearing high heels. “It could be a really exciting evening,” she said. “I could be floating this year.”

Maybe it was in July, when Willie Nelson introduced a line of CBD-infused coffee beans called Willie’s Remedy. “It’s two of my favorites, together in the perfect combination,” he said in a statement.

Or maybe it was earlier this month, when Dr. Sanjay Gupta gave a qualified endorsement of CBD on “The Dr. Oz Show.” “I think there is a legitimate medicine here,” he said. “We’re talking about something that could really help people.”

So the question now becomes: Is this the dawning of a new miracle elixir, or does all the hype mean we have already reached Peak CBD?

Either way, it would be hard to script a more of-the-moment salve for a nation on edge. With its proponents claiming that CBD treats ailments as diverse as inflammation, pain, acne, anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress and even cancer, it’s easy to wonder if this all natural, non-psychotropic and widely available cousin of marijuana represents a cure for the 21st century itself.

The ice caps are melting, the Dow teeters, and a divided country seems headed for divorce court. Is it any wonder, then, that everyone seems to be reaching for the tincture?

“Right now, CBD is the chemical equivalent to Bitcoin in 2016,” said Jason DeLand, a New York advertising executive and a board member of Dosist, a cannabis company in Santa Monica, Calif., that makes disposable vape pens with CBD. “It’s hot, everywhere and yet almost nobody understands it.”

Read more …

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The Future of Hemp Engineering: Hempcrete, Supercapacitors, Bio-fuel and More

Despite a global prohibition still largely restricting the cultivation of cannabis, some scientists are still revolutionizing industries through engineering hemp buildings, supercapacitors, and more.

Preceding the 1900’s, cannabis was once one of the most significant crops for mankind. It was only in the past century when men forbid its cultivation, grinding cannabis production and all of its subsidiary parts to a halt.

The plant is rooted deep in humanity’s history and was likely the earliest cultivated plant for its textile fiber. Despite many countries’ recent regressions revoking the laws in which made cannabis illegal in the first place, it is largely recognized as a plant with no other use other than “getting people high”.

But cannabis is not one sole entity. It is rather a collection of a family of plants consisting of sativas, indicas, and ruderalis. Cannabis Sativa and indica plants are renowned for their psychoactive effects, but there is a variety of Cannabis Sativa which is grown specifically for its derived products.

The plant in question, otherwise known as hemp – or industrial hemp – is the seed or fibrous part of the Cannabis Sativa, whereas the flower of the plant is legally regarded as marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp does not possess a significant amount of psychoactive chemicals and as such, cannot be used to get “high”.

Read more …