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Hot Off the Press: USDA Issues Interim Rules for Legal Hemp Cultivation

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Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C

On October 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its long-awaited interim rules allowing for the legal cultivation of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill. With these rules in place, the USDA can start approving state and tribal plans for the legal cultivation of hemp. Hemp is defined in the Farm Bill as cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC. Those watching the CBD (cannabidiol) market will find this welcome news, as the new rules carry the ball several steps forward towards legal CBD sourcing. Legal sourcing will matter for those seeking federal trademark registration for cannabis-related goods and services. What remains to be seen is how the U.S. Food & Drug Administration will regulate CBD-containing products marketed to consumers, including foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and topicals. Stay tuned as we continue to report on developments in this dynamic and emerging legal area.