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Pennsylvania Hemp & Medical Marijuana Laws

The Nation’s Most Trusted Hemp Law Attorneys

Although hemp may be a variant of the cannabis plant, it has only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that makes cannabis and marijuana use and consumption illegal by most mandates. Despite its uses and low chance of negative side effects, hemp is still under strict federal regulations that have made its cultivation illegal in the United States since the Nixon Administration. Only in recent years – and in no small thanks to organizations like Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition (PCC) and legal professionals like Attorney Andrew Sacks – has some leniency been granted.

Nonmedicinal Uses of Hemp & Medical Marijuana

Even the United States government acknowledged the potential use of hemp when it permitted 14 states to grow the plant. The objective was to control cultivation and determine if there was commercial viability in hemp. Due to research, studies, and programs, we now know that hemp has more than 25,000 nonmedicinal uses.

Some of the most common nonmedicinal products made from hemp are:

  • Animal feed
  • Clothing material
  • Cordage and ropes
  • Fuel
  • Soil purification products
  • Composite materials

The results of these studies and existence of these products align with what many other countries around the world already know: hemp is not dangerous and has viable commercial purpose.

CBD Extraction & Medicinal Uses of Hemp and Medical Marijuana

The general consensus is that if a substance is not dangerous and can be useful, it should not be strictly outlawed. Hemp, for instance, does have its uses and does not show potential to intoxicate or debilitate its users. Like medical marijuana, the cannabidiols (CBD) in hemp may be reduced and refined for consumption or otherwise medicinally used. All of the illnesses and health conditions that medical marijuana can alleviate, medical hemp can as well. Furthermore, due to the fact that hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, it cannot be used recreationally, making it even more ideal for a wide range of medicinal and nonmedicinal uses.

Important facts about cannabidiol (CBD):

  • CBD originates in the cannabis sativa L. plant.
  • Agricultural hemp looks similar to bamboo and is grown differently than THC-containing cannabis.
  • When pollinated, hemp does not have great potential to produce high-content THC.
  • Agricultural hemp plants are intentionally pollinated by members of their own crop in order to keep THC levels low.

U.S. Drug Policy Regarding Hemp Use & Cultivation

Currently, hemp is considered a Schedule I controlled substance due to federal mandates. Its production is overseen by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prevent any abuse or misuse of the substance. Even Pennsylvania’s pilot program began with harsh restrictions and only recently granted hemp cultivators up to 100 acres each to grow plants. Pennsylvania also initially prohibited hemp cannabidiol research and blocked hemp products from being sold in medical marijuana dispensaries, largely due to fictional reasons that label hemp as an illegal substance; Governor Tom Wolf played an integral part in permitting researchers access to the plant.

Over 30 states have pilot programs including Pennsylvania. Now, an unlimited amount of hemp can be grown in Pennsylvania.

You can review Regular Session 2015-2016 Senate Bill 50 – also called the Pennsylvania Hemp Bill – by clicking here and visiting the Pennsylvania General Assembly site. You can click here to review House Bill 967 – or the Pennsylvania Hemp House Bill.

Congress Passes 2018 Farm Bill

In 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill, thus legalizing hemp in the United States as an agricultural commodity.

According to the bill, industrial help is any part of the cannabis sativa L. plant that possesses a maximum of 0.3 percent THC by weight. Extracts such as CBD and other cannabinoids are considered hemp, meaning they are no longer a controlled substance under federal law.

The Farm Bill presents a framework for hemp cultivation and distribution/sales in this country. State and local governments are given the power to regulate hemp production. If they decline, then the U.S. Department of Agriculture will regulate it.

Additionally, private growers are allowed to produce hemp and hemp-related products without any interference from the federal authorities. Prior to the bill, these growers were required to obtain a license. Current hemp licenses and registrations under the 2014 Farm Bill will expire when 2019 ends.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission oversees hemp products made and marketed for use or consumption. Hemp imports and exports will be subject to the jurisdiction of Customs and Border Patrol.

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