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Hemp cultivation was completely banned in 1937 as various powerful business owners saw this versatile plant as a threat to their business. In 1970, any form of cannabis that was cultivated was banned under the Controlled Substances Act.

Fast forward to 2018, the United States Farm Bill was passed which legalized the growth, cultivation, distribution and sale of hemp products.

It was in this year that hemp was legally differentiated from marijuana and given a proper definition. Previously, it was still legally referred to as cannabis.

Under the new Farm Bill, hemp was defined as any cannabis sativa plant that contained less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound that produces a “high” in marijuana) in dry weight. Anything above this limit and the plant will be considered marijuana, not hemp.

Thus, the legalization of hemp began in 2018 under the federal law.

However, even though hemp is legal and safe to use, consume, sell, buy and transport, there are many restrictions still in place related to the growth and cultivation of hemp in the United States.

Every hemp cultivator must have a license to produce hemp, which can be obtained by submitting a detailed cultivation plan to the State’s top law enforcers as well as the Secretory of USDA. Only once the plan is passed as being safe, can the cultivator get a license to grow and sell hemp.

Thus, you can’t just grow hemp in your garden legally. You must have a license to grow it for it to be considered a legal product.

Moreover, if the plant contains more than 0.3% THC in dry weight, it’s no longer considered hemp and isn’t protected by laws. In fact, if such a plant grows under your supervision, you could face multiple violations.

It’s still best to consult your local State laws to make sure you’re not violating any rules.

Many other countries around the world have legalized hemp as long as the THC content is below 0.2% or 0.3%. Some of these are listed below:

  • Poland, Germany, France, Belgium, Romania, Cyprus and many others (less than 0.2% THC)

  • Italy (less than 0.6% THC)

  • In Georgia, Norway and Sweden, the THC content must be 0.00% for the product to be considered legal.

Thus, it all depends on the local laws and regulations. That being said, hemp is still illegal in many countries around the world.

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