The Agricultural Act of 2014

The Agricultural Act of 2014, more commonly known as the 2014 Farm Bill or just the Farm Bill, is a piece of sweeping legislation that controls nearly $1 trillion of government funding. Agricultural Acts such as this are passed every 3-5 years and make up the legal framework in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture operates. Farm Bills include the allocation of provisional funding for food stamps and other nutritional assistance programs.

Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, titled “Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research,” addresses the cultivation and processing of hemp and hemp-derived products. Section 7606 provides two conditions that must be met in order for the growth of hemp to be federally legal.

Firstly, the grower must be working in partnership with either the state department of agriculture or a school of agriculture affiliated with a state institution of higher education.

Secondly, the growth or cultivation must be carried out for research-oriented purposes as opposed to commercially-oriented purposes.

Most notably, the Farm Bill quietly made an exception to the CSA definition of marijuana for what it terms “industrial hemp,” here defined as, “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Farm Bill hemp – cannabis with less than 0.3% THC by weight – is not a controlled substance.