The U.S. hemp industry is expecting business to expand and investors to beckon after Congress on Wednesday passed farm legislation that included a provision to legalize and regulate the plant under the Department of Agriculture.
“This is a monumental bill for hemp farming,” said Lauren Stansbury of the Hemp Industries Association.
The bill, awaiting President Trump’s signature, opens the door to state-by-state regulation, removes hemp, which is part of the cannabis plant family, from the federal enforcement of outlaw drugs and gives hemp farmers access to banking, crop insurance and federal grants, experts said.
That could open the industry, which produces therapeutic cannabidiol (CBD), fabric, rope and even ethanol, to a wave of investment.
“This is a cultural shift,” said Bomi Joseph, creator of CBD product ImmunAG. “CBD is going to explode. I think the market is going to triple in size.”