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Farm bill is now law, will ‘unleash the full potential of hemp’

12_20 hemp grow operation

Ask around, and there’s a palpable buzz in the air.

Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill was a rare bipartisan affair—last week it passed the U.S. Senate, 87-13, and it passed the U.S. House, 369-47. President Trump signed the bill into law Thursday, Dec. 20.

Already, there’s an estimated 750 brands in the hemp-derived CBD business, according to a market assessment by Colorado-based brand Functional Remedies.

Is there room for 750 more?

In 2016, there was 9,000 acres of industrial hemp grown in the U.S., according to Vote Hemp. In 2017, it nearly tripled, to 25,000 acres. In 2018, it tripled again, to 77,000 acres. How many triples can U.S. hemp farmers hit?

The Farm Bill, which removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and thus takes the DEA out of the picture, is a bellwether event—akin to dropping the rope on the Oklahoma border in 1889 for all those sooners to grab their share of free land.

Even without the Farm Bill, CBD in 2018 grew by more than 80 percent, reaching an estimated $590 million, according to the Brightfield Group.

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