The 2018 Farm Bill, also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, was signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2018. This bill, which is updated and passed every five years, provides funding and sets policies for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other agricultural programs.
One of the most significant changes in the 2018 Farm Bill was the legalization of hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. The bill removed hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), from the Controlled Substances Act. This change in federal law allowed states to create their own hemp programs and regulations, and opened the door for the production and sale of hemp-derived products, including CBD oil.
Another important aspect of the 2018 Farm Bill was the support for farmers, which includes provisions for crop insurance, conservation, and rural development programs. The bill also reauthorizes programs that provide nutrition assistance to low-income individuals, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The bill also expands opportunities for organic farmers and ranchers, with provisions to support organic research, education, and data collection. Additionally, the bill has a strong emphasis on local and regional food systems and the development of new markets for farmers.
In addition to these changes, the 2018 Farm Bill also provided funding for rural broadband expansion, which will help to improve internet access in rural areas. This will be beneficial for farmers, who rely on technology to run their operations and communicate with buyers, but also for the rural communities at large.