Loyal Budding Trends readers and hemp operators at large know that the 2018 Farm Bill was a watershed moment for the hemp industry. It brought centuries-old hemp products back from near-extinction and lit the fuse for an explosion of new hemp products that even the most optimistic supporters of that legislation probably couldn’t have imagined.
As we have noted throughout the year, the Farm Bill was set to expire on September 30. Thankfully, over the weekend the federal government was able to obtain a 45-day extension to continue the funding of government programs (including those implicated by the Farm Bill) at pre-September 30 levels.
This is, of course, better news for the industry than no deal at all. But it’s a month and a half extension and, if history is any guide, lawmakers will get close to the end of the 45 days before once again playing a game of brinksmanship (brinkspersonship?). This is not unprecedented. Congress has utilized continuing resolutions for decades, and even the 2018 Farm Bill was a result of a continuing resolution.
The existing Farm Bill is far from perfect, and changes should be made, but the hemp industry is making huge strides, and now may be the worst time to strangle its development. We’ll be writing about any developments over the course of the next six weeks, and we will of course have a full recap of the cannabis provisions of the 2023 (2024?) Farm Bill when it becomes law. Stay tuned.