In recent years, state legislators took steps towards legalizing the farming and production of industrialized hemp. The Agricultural Act of 2014, or the 2014 Farm Bill, allowed universities and state departments to cultivate hemp for research purposes in controlled locations.
In 2015, legislators introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act which allowed American farmers to cultivate hemp as long as it contained no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This percentage of THC does not produce the ‘high’ of marijuana but still maintains the health benefits of the plant.
In 2016, in compliance with U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp was released to inform the public of the legality of producing hemp within the 2014 Farm Bill. Since then, 30 states passed legislation regarding industrial hemp, and at least 16 states have legalized the production for commercial purposes.
The rise in acceptance of hemp products on the federal and state level helps the public accept and normalize the uses of cannabis commercially. Additionally, the legalization shows cannabis has multiple uses and benefits other than the controversial ‘high’ of the drug.
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