House Chairman Mike Conaway introduced the bill and has been fighting for it’s approval. He made the necessity of the situation clear after highlighting a 50% decline in net income for farmers and ranchers in the last 5 years, which is “the largest drop since the Great Depression.” There was an overwhelming vote in favor of the bill with the House voting 369-47 on Wednesday 12/12/2018. On 12/20/18 at 4:01 pm, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law.
What the Bill Means for Farmers
The recent push for the reforms in the 2018 Farm Bill stemmed from significant declines in net farm incomes. The incomes are expected to drop 12% in 2018, to levels that have not been experienced since 2002. There will be more protections and assistance in place for farmers to help them in their day to day operations or in the event of emergencies. There will be more resources for disaster relief programs, while improving the farm policy and giving options for assistance when commodities fall below revenue standards. Programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) can do more for producers than in recent years. The dairy industry has been hit exceptionally hard and this bill provides relief and protections that dairy farmers desperately need. Organic farming will receive additional funding for research, allowing for technological advances.
What the Bill Means for SNAP Recipients
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was a hot topic in the original drafting of the bill. SNAP offers government assistance to provide food to low income individual and families, while benefiting communities through consumerism. The proposal to require “able-bodied” adults to work or attend work related training for 20 hours a week in order to receive benefits was shot down. Opponents argued that SNAP funnels back to farmers, as consumers purchase food and beverages with the benefits. Additionally, many struggling farm workers, an estimated 28%, currently utilize the program themselves. The Trump administration announced plans to sidestep the bipartisan Farm Bill through a proposal under the USDA hours before signing the bill. The proposal would take away the option for states with high unemployment rates from waiving restrictions and granting extensions, unless the city or county has over a 7% unemployment rate. This proposal is expected to be met with sharp opposition.
What the Bill Means for Hemp
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has been a key player in the Federal legalization of hemp, which was achieved with the bill’s passing. As a result, hemp has been removed off of the controlled substances list. Farmers will be able to apply for permits to grow and states will regulate the industry within their borders individually. Many materials like fabrics, textiles, plastic, biofuels, composite building materials, paper, food and cosmetics can all be derived from hemp. Hemp derived CBD products have gained enormous popularity and the industry is expected to explode into a $22 billion market by 2022. With the recent passing of the bill, this number may be a low estimate.
Struggling farmers now have the option to grow this powerful cash crop. Hemp is a tolerant crop that produces a high yield in less than optimal growing conditions. Hemp can be planted very densely, maximizing the amount of land available. A healthy, strong crop can be grown on the same plot of land for a few years before rotating. As a “bioremediator”, hemp cleans the soil, air and water where it is planted by removing toxins and chemicals. This means hemp has the potential to be a major environmental benefit in addition to its economic advantages.
What the Bill Means for You
In addition to a future economic boost to the country, the creation of renewable products from a sustainable source and taking care of the environment… what can hemp do for you? Hemp plants are rich in cannabinoids, like CBD (cannabidiol), which can support a healthier mind, body and spirit. In fact, CBD is found in its highest concentrations within the hemp plant. Cannabinoids fuel a physiological system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS’s primary function is to create homeostasis, or internal balance. The ECS is responsible for regulating sleep, balanced mood, pain, inflammation, cognitive function and immune system regulation. When one of these areas has a cannabinoid deficiency, disturbances in healthy patterns will occur.
Our whole plant hemp products are a source of terpenes, essential oils, which bring their own hosts of benefits. Together, terpenes and cannabinoids work together in a synergistic relationship called the “entourage effect.” The two compounds function together to boost and enhance the advantages of the other. Hemp is also a great source of omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals! Dream was created to help obtain a normal sleep pattern that allows you to wake feeling well rested. Bliss supports balanced mood, while putting a little pep in your step. Lucid promotes a sense of calm while helping you focus on tasks. Thrive aims to alleviate inflammation throughout the entire body. Relief was formulated to assist with acute and chronic pain.