The Farm Bill sets policies and reauthorizes farm, conservation, nutrition, rural development, agricultural trade and other programs for the next five years. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue welcomed the new hemp legalization. “This is an industrial-use product, medicinally as well as other products, and we look forward to developing markets for it if it’s a profitable crop. Agriculture needs new products,” he told Fox Business News.
“The Farm Bill…both legalizes hemp as an agricultural commodity and removes it from the controlled substances list. It gives states the opportunity to be the primary overseers of hemp production. It also allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and made hemp eligible for federal crop insurance. Together these features will encourage new opportunities for struggling farmers and their families, new products for use in construction, health care, and manufacturing, and new jobs in a broad range of fields," said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), sponsor of the hemp provision.
Supplement producers such as hemp oil manufacturers were more muted in their response. They market products of suspect benefit such as the oils containing what they tout as the full-spectrum of phytocannabinoids and terpenes, though no peer-reviewed studies yet show any benefit.