Federal appropriations bill includes nearly $20 million in hemp industry provisions

A $1.4 trillion federal spending bill that passed both houses of Congress and was expected to be signed Friday by President Donald Trump reportedly includes provisions that would benefit hemp and CBD businesses.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 secures nearly $20 million in funding for the growing hemp industry, according to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky who is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations and Agriculture Committee, and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Democrats from Oregon, worked to include the provisions in the 2020 federal spending act, according to advocacy group Vote Hemp.

The bill includes:

  • $16.5 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement hemp provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • $2 million for the research of hemp through Agriculture Research Service (ARS) sites.
  • A measure encouraging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue formal enforcement discretion guidance for CBD products.
  • A provision directing the Farm Credit Administration to offer services to hemp producers and businesses.
  • A prohibition barring the federal government from banning the transfer, production or sale of hemp in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill.
  • Support for competitive USDA grants for hemp projects.
  • A measure to support the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) efforts to deploy technology to enable law enforcement to distinguish between hemp and marijuana in the field.