2018 Federal Budget: Marijuana and Hemp Protections

On March 21, 2018, Congress extended important existing legal protections for medical marijuana, industrial hemp, and industrial hemp-derived products through September 30, 2018. Congress included these protections in a federal budget bill called the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. You can read the full text of the Act here. Congress will vote on the Act in the coming days and send to President Trump for signature if it passes.

The Act allows states with legal medical marijuana to continue to implement their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana. Under the Act, the Department of Justice is prohibited from using federal funds to prevent legal medical marijuana states from implementing their medical marijuana laws. However, the Act does not extend any new protections to state-legal adult use marijuana.

The Act also denies funding for federal agencies to interfere with industrial hemp activities. Generally, no funds made available to the federal government under the Act or any other federal law may be used to prevent the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp that is grown in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill.

The Act also denies funding to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice to be used “in contravention of” the 2014 Farm Bill’s provisions regarding industrial hemp.

If you have questions about the impact of this federal legislation on your cannabis or hemp business, please contact the attorneys at McAllister Garfield to schedule an appointment.