Hemp is a non-psychoactive, renewable resource that can be used to make a wide variety of products including food, clothing, fuel, cannabidiol (CBD) oil, cosmetics, paper, plastic, and construction materials. While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp on the federal level, there are still laws that restrict the growth and distribution of this crop.
As someone working with hemp, you will likely need legal guidance from a corporate attorney. William R. Noelker is a highly experienced corporate lawyer who can help you navigate relevant state and federal hemp laws — as well as the legal complexities of starting a hemp business.
To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 859-329-3992. William R. Noelker Attorney at Law, PLLC proudly serves Danville, Lebanon, and nearby areas of Kentucky.
"William did an outstanding job for our firm, absolutely professional and always available to answer any questions. We are very pleased and happy with all he has accomplished for our business. I definitely recommend him!" - Mark, President of Wild Rose Botanicals Inc
Hemp and the 2018 Farm Bill
The 2014 Farm Bill permitted the growth and distribution of hemp through pilot programs, like the one here in Kentucky. This development created many new and exciting economic opportunities in our state.
However, this was just a start. The 2014 bill did not change hemp’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug or make the crop eligible for federal crop insurance.
Thankfully, the 2018 Farm Bill included significant changes, such as:
- Removing hemp’s controlled substance classification
- Devolving power to the states to control hemp
- Making hemp eligible for federal crop insurance and other programs
While hemp isn’t classified as a controlled substance anymore, that doesn’t mean that everyone can freely grow, handle, or sell the crop. In Kentucky, you are still required to have the appropriate license from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
As noted above, the 2018 Farm Bill also gives states the power to regulate hemp if there is a state plan in place to monitor and control the crop’s production. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s existing Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program meets the USDA’s minimum requirements for a state plan under the new bill.
A Closer Look at the Kentucky Hemp Industry
Kentucky was once called the “Hemp Capital of the World.” Our state has a long history of growing hemp thanks to the rich and fertile conditions of the area. While hemp growth was placed on hold when it was lumped together with marijuana in legislation, it’s now experiencing a revival.
According to Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles, almost $17 million worth of Kentucky grown derived products were sold in 2017. Clearly, the industrial hemp industry has promising economic potential.
Keep in mind that it was never illegal to make or sell products with hemp in the United States. However, the raw material had to be imported from other countries for many years. Now, farmers in Kentucky are excited to grow this sustainable and versatile crop again.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the cannabis sativa plant, but they are not the same thing. The main difference is that hemp contains almost undetectable amounts of THC, which is the compound that has an intoxicating effect when bred in significantly higher percentages. Hemp does not contain enough THC to have psychoactive effects.
Hemp plants are relatively easy to grow outdoors and have been bred to possess strong fibers that can be used to create products. Hemp typically has higher concentrations of CBD, a non-intoxicating compound that is believed to have potential medical applications.
The 2014 Farm Bill provides this definition in section 7606: “The term ‘industrial hemp’ means 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.”
Why You Need a Corporate Hemp Attorney in Kentucky
While hemp is no longer classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, it's still subject to strict regulations. Individuals who grow, handle, process, or market living industrial hemp or viable seeds and materials without the proper license can face serious legal penalties and fines.
Additionally, there are hemp-derived products that are unlawful to manufacture, even with a license. These products include hemp cigarettes and hemp leaf or floral material teas.
Violating these and other regulations could lead to severe legal consequences and the termination of your license. Contact Mr. Noelker for help understanding the hemp laws and staying in accordance with them. Your initial consultation is free.
Schedule Your Danville Hemp Law Consultation Today
Whether you own a thriving business in the hemp industry, or you are looking to enter this rapidly growing field, you need an experienced attorney who can navigate the complex hemp laws. Contact knowledgeable corporate attorney William Noelker today at 859-329-3992. Mr. Noelker represents clients in Danville, Lebanon, and nearby areas of Kentucky.