2018 was the year of the 2018 Farm Bill and several state legislations, which brought about some momentous change. Last year, 28 hemp-related bills were enacted and 48 of them related to CBD or medical cannabis. Several other bills were related to newly legal markets. The state that saw the most impressive change though, was California. It had passed 26 bills related to issues such as medical CBD, CBD for pets, and even beverages related to CBD. Other states, such as Colorado, Hawaii, and New Jersey also enacted significant legislation. According to Justin Strekal, NORMI political director, the organization has noticed an “increased interest and increased support from lawmakers from every party of the political spectrum.”
At the federal level, there were a number of advancements of CBD-related bills that had advanced through congressional committees. For instance, the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee approved legislation that promoted studies concerning the benefits of CBD for military veterans. Then, the House Judiciary Committee also passed a bill that enabled approval for marijuana cultivation by new businesses. Although neither form of legislation received a floor vote, it does show that there are some advancements.
Though there were also some disappointments from 2018, such that 529 bills did not survive, it seemed to be a positive outcome overall.
This year, there may be more to come, as well. According to Karen O’Keefe of the Marijuana Policy Project,
“Last year’s tremendous amount of legislative activity surrounding cannabis, hemp and CBD legislation reflected that elected officials are increasingly getting the message that the harsh criminalization of marijuana in all its forms is misguided and out of step with the wishes of voters.”
Several states and the federal government have already brought forth a number of proposals related to cannabis. If this is just the start, then this year may be a good one for additional changes.