Industrial hemp at the federal level

The Farm Bill of 2013 section 7606 “Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research” establishes that institutions of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) or a State department of agriculture may grow or cultivate industrial hemp if: (1)  the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research; and (2) the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the State in which such institution of higher education or State department of agriculture is located and such research occurs.

Additionally, the bill defines “industrial hemp” as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

The Farm Bill establishes the legal growth of industrial hemp in a research setting through institutions of higher education and agricultural departments. It will be up to subsequent state and federal legislation to create a marketplace where farmers can grow industrial hemp on a commercial scale.