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Impact of 2018 Farm Bill on the Hemp and CBD Businesses



On Dec 20, 2018, Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 was signed by President Donald Trump, more commonly called the 2018 Farm Bill, into law. The bill legalized commercial production of hemp at the federal level, effective from January 1, 2019. This will have significant repercussions not just for the hemp business in the US, but also for business, including cannabidiol (CBD).

Changes in Federal Related to Hemp and CBD 

Indeed, even before the 2018 Farm Bill became effective, the business potential in hemp and CBD farming was always evident in the United States. Hemp is a fast-growing variety of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, which can be easily cultivated. It has many commercial uses, such as textiles and food. Marijuana is another different variety of the Cannabis sativa L. plant that contains high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects in humans. Conversely, hemp, by definition, contains negligible concentrations of THC. CBD is an alternate product derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant (marijuana or varieties of hemp) that offers various benefits for putative health and general wellbeing.

In spite of the fact that hemp or hemp-derived CBD doesn’t contain significant concentrations of THC, until December 2018, hemp was classified into a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. It is the main federal criminal law related to the prohibited drugs and narcotics, such as LCD and heroin. Due to this, it was considered illegal at the federal level to grow, own or distribute the hemp or CBD, derived from hemp. However, certain inert parts of the Cannabis sativa L. plant (marijuana or hemp) like the non-germinating seeds or stalks, could be traded.

Furthermore, federal regulations of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) (the major agency responsible for federal criminal drug enforcement) prohibited such products. DEA specifically banned products meant for consumption for humans, containing any part of the cannabis plant, including the inert portions excused otherwise from the Controlled Substances Act. This meant that effectually CBD products, irrespective of how derived, were unlawful at the federal level.

Nonetheless, hemp and CBD industries have flourished in several state jurisdictions, where growing, dealing, and using such products is legal. These businesses have functioned in a quasi-legal status as part of the US Department of Justice policy. This policy has effectively allowed; otherwise, legitimate business dealing in cannabis to function in state jurisdictions where doing such business is lawful.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations bring additional, non-criminal legal worries for the trading of CBD products derived from hemp. Many of the manufacturers and sellers of CBD-infused products, such as food, beverages, creams, and dietary supplements, swear by its benefits. They claim that these products are useful for treating and preventing various diseases. 

The FDA is firm on its position that such claims mean these products are under the same regulations as drugs. Under these regulations, prior approval is required from the Food and Drug Administration, based on the clinical trials, for establishing the safety and the efficacy of the product. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a number of warning letters over the past three years to stop the sale of such products, although the FDA hasn’t taken any follow-up action.

There are two different concerns emerging from FDA guidelines. To begin with, in June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription drug with CBD as an active ingredient for the treatment of seizure disorders. Federal law states that a food product may not contain an approved drug, such as cannabidiol, without further approval from the FDA. Secondly, as a new food ingredient, it is imperative to establish the safety of CBD products for human consumption before a food product containing CBD is made available for sale.

The 2018 Farm Bill

Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill on December 12, 2018, which was then signed into law by President Trump subsequently. Significantly, the bill incorporates key content concerning hemp that was advocated by Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with solid bi-partisan backing:

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp can be defined as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and/or any part of the plant that contains delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% by dry weight. This definition of hemp is compatible with the definition of “industrial hemp” as made in the 2014 bill. Under the 2014 bill, a limited agricultural pilot program was created for research on the industrial hemp.

In the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is removed from the Controlled Substances Act. This has paved the way for completely lawful cultivation, possession, marketing, and sale of the hemp plant.

The 2018 Farm Bill grants the states and the Indian tribes the authority to regulate and manage the production, sale, and supply of hemp and its products within its borders. However, it doesn’t allow the states and Indian tribes to restrict the shipment or transportation of hemp and its products via respective jurisdictions.

Consequences of 2018 Farm Bill to the Hemp and CBD Businesses

US sales for the products containing hemp, including beverage and food products, personal care products, household products, and nutritional supplements, touched $820 million in 2017. Based on these figures and the current demand, it is predicted that the hemp and CBD industry will be worth $1 billion by 2020. The 2018 Farm Bill is going to work wonders for the production and sales of hemp and CBD products.

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill means that hemp manufacturers and businesses involved in hemp and/or products derived from hemp can now freely pursue their businesses legally. They can do it aggressively without having a fear of enforcement regulations that earlier prevented them from flourishing. The 2018 Farm Bill will provide the producers of CBD or its products, a larger incentive to use hemp as a primary source for CBD (instead of marijuana). 

It is still imperative for the businesses involved in the hemp industry to comply with the state as well as federal regulations regarding legalized hemp. It is also important for businesses dealing with CBD (including food and beverages) to steer clear of the aggressive marketing strategies that they generally adopt to sell health-related products. This will help them avoid any kind of unwanted attention from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and handle the other health and food FDA regulations carefully.

The Growth of Hemp in the US — an Ever-Changing Regulatory Environment

A confusing and a befuddling regulatory environment at the state, as well as federal levels, have hampered the rise of the hemp plant and its related business in the markets of the US. The United States Department of Agriculture, on its part, tried to clarify the regulations by releasing interim final rules in the last quarter of the year 2019. The highly awaited rules address a host of problems, including licensing, regional transportation, testing, and sampling of THC. 

However, the most important thing to come out of the rollout of the federal program is that now states, the main regulators of cultivation of hemp can submit and get the approval of individual state plans from the USDA. The USDA recently gave its approval to the state plans of New Jersey, Louisiana, and Ohio, along with certain tribal plans. Many other states, including Pennsylvania, have submitted their plans, which USDA is considering. And, as USDA goes on approving state plans, existing and future businesses dealing with hemp will have more certainty related to its business operations.


Germany: Implementation challenges of cannabis legalization




As many people gathered to dance and listen to music at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, Germany to celebrate the recreational legalization of cannabis on April 1st, 2024. Many have wondered if it’s too early to speak on whether the German government’s new law on the “controlled use of cannabis” will be a success or failure as it still leaves many questions unanswered.

The government’s objectives are simply “eradication of black market sales”. Originally this was planned to be achieved via authorised sales through licensed stores, this was later abandoned due to its conflict with European laws. As a secondary plan, under the new law consumers now have the choice to navigate two options: grow at home with the limitation of 3 plants or join a growers association which limits possession to 30 grams for those between the ages of 18 – 21, 50 grams for anyone older and only 25grams in public

Yet one thing is still at fault, these growers’ associations still need to be created. By law, they will not be able to start operating before July 1 – and to do so, they must first obtain a license with many conservative voices still fighting its implementation in certain parts of Germany

Suppose the regional authorities don’t play ball and instead decide to make setting up these growers’ associations more difficult. In that case, consumers who don’t want to start growing cannabis will continue to buy from their usual dealers. Forsmall-time dealers, the new legislation provides a certain advantage, in that it is now legal to carry 25 grams of cannabis on your person.

Another of the government’s stated aims is to lighten the workload of police officers and judges. With decades of prohibition and repression having failed to reduce cannabis consumption – quite the opposite, in fact – what’s the point in continuing to ask them to apply a failed policy? The problem is that implementing the new law is already proving to be a real headache. It prohibits smoking cannabis near minors, within 100 meters of schools, sports facilities, children’s playgrounds and in pedestrian zones between 7 am and 8 pm.

All these prove to be the first few implementation problems Germany is yet to face and we are excited to see it all come together.

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A taste of Cannabis: South African Edition

A few places that could help you experience the South African cannabis space




We have all tried our chances with a Google search hoping to find the best places to satisfy our cannabis needs but we never seem to find exactly what we need. With 4/20 coming up, we at CannaAfrika decided to make your life easier and have created our Ganja Guide for your best and safest South African cannabis experience.

Is Cannabis / Marijuana Legal in South Africa?

As you might know, Cannabis in South Africa has been decriminalized by the country’s constitutional court for personal use by adults in private. However, there are still many ifs and buts, grey areas and fairytales.

South Africa is moving towards fully legalising Cannabis shortly. It seems weed is posed to become a major South African export. This has led to a large variety of Weed Clubs, Dispensaries, and health stores selling to the public.

Best Nationwide Online Stores:

  • Taste of Cannabis:

Taste of Cannabis (TOC), a leading CBD retailer under CannaFood International, was established in 2019 at the beginning of South Africa’s cannabis journey. Specializing in high-quality CBD products and Full Spectrum Cannabis Products, TOC addresses various health issues. The company, known for its diverse, innovative and exciting product range collaborates with experts to ensure efficacy. TOC extends its offerings to pets, pain relief, and sexual wellness to allow customers to experience the world of cannabis in many different ways. TOC originally operated online and has expanded to operate in 9 prime kiosk locations, pharmacies across Africa, and other online stores. Find them here

  • HighTEA CBD:

HighTEA CBD is a well-known and locally loved online cannabis edibles and vape club. HighTEA is passionate about everything cannabis related and prides itself on creating eye-catching, delicious happy products. Their wellness first mantra is evident in their delight from customer feedback on how their products affected people for the better, coupled with their fame from their CBD gummies and full spectrum cannabis oils that bring life to the small artisanal cannabis products.  Find them here:

CBD Gummies, CBD Oil, Cannabis Products Cape Town, South Africa

(Hightea CBD Cannabis Oils and Edible Products)

  • Tubby’s Kitchen

Run by a mom and son duo Tubby’s Kitchen was started by tasting various local teas and incorporating CBD as a way to heal the body from seizures. Tubby’s vision is all about health and infusing CBD into the dining experience to provide customers with an opportunity to enjoy physical and mental healing for a balanced life. Tubby’s Kitchen fuses your love for cooking and CBD with a great range of CBD teas, pastes, and spices. Now you can choose to start your day off with an amazing CBD cup of tea and enjoy cooking with their tasty paste and spices.  And what adds even more to Tubby’s is the fact that all these products are natural and none are infused with isolate or chemically produced CBD oil. Find them on

Best Retail Stores:

  • CannAfrica

CannAfrica is a company that views its products as a new way of thinking and a new way of living, with a focus on healing. With its scientific approach, CannAfrica prides itself on producing products that have been carefully researched and tested to ensure great quality. As a trusted dispensary that has a ton of quality goods such as oils, gummies and coffee, CannAfrica has something that will suit your CBD needs. Their values are all about health and making your way of life a lot more easier and enjoyable. With a great online store and a few store locations in  East Rand Mall, Pretoria, Spriggs and more on the way. For more store locations near you check out their website:

  • Tree of Life

Tree of Life is a revolutionary health and wellness dispensary founded in 2021 which provides its patients with natural healing products. Tree of Life prides itself on providing organically grown cannabis, roots and select plant-related products which includes oils, capsules, teas and coffees. With an exclusive collaboration with DANK as its storefront provider they are continuously providing wellness and building long-lasting relationships with patients from all walks of life. The stores can be found in Hatfield, Pretoria and Bryston, Johannesburg. For more information visit their website:

  • Canna Kingdom

Canna Kingdom is known as a one-stop shop for all things cannabis. Hosting a range of products from smoking accessories to therapeutic oils and medicinal pet drops, to growing equipment and nutrients, even infused soft serve ice cream, Canna Kingdom boasts of retailing the largest range of smoking and cannabis products in South Africa, with 4 Johannesburg locations, Parkuhurst, Malibongwe, Hillfox and Glenhazel. Their website is currently under construction but sign up for when they finally launch again:

Best Private Clubs:

  • Hi-Grow Cafe:

The Hi-Grow brand consists of multiple sub-brands that create one united Community. Hi-Grow Cafe (NPC) is an association of cannabis consumers, cultivators, connoisseurs, and other related stakeholders supporting the growth of the cannabis community in South Africa one tree at a time. Hi-Grow provides the platform for the cannabis community to come together and enjoy the cannabis culture. They are passionate about education and the delivery of accurate information regarding cannabis in South Africa. The cafe is located in Menlo Park, Pretoria. Find out more about your membership at

(Cannabisters Club in Cape Town)

  • Cannibisters:

Cannibisters is a members-only club incorporating a herbal apothecary in Cape Town. It is a home away from home where members can share cannabis and related products privately and responsibly. The club environment is elegantly presented in the familiar style of a retail store, coffee shop and relaxed lounge area. Cannibisters also offers a few nights of the week, either classical or light jazz music and cover bands. The aim is to ensure that they create a peaceful, healing and safe environment. They offer cannabis connoisseurs and medical users a legal space to enjoy and share the herb.


  • Grow One Africa:

Grow One Africa™(GOA) aims to be a self-regulatory organisation and service provider within the recreational craft cannabis social grow club market in South Africa. They provide a self-regulatory Grow Club Compliance Model and then facilitate the opening of private cannabis social clubs in compliance with the 2020 Proposed Cannabis Bill. This model focuses on responsible cannabis use, sharing and cultivation while providing full traceability to all associated GOA cannabis social club members. GOA motto states they believe that social clubs show that it is possible to create a safe, informed community where like-minded people can practise their constitutional rights of possessing and using cannabis in private, while still complying with current legislation. Looking to find a way to start your social club look for further assistance here:

This is just a short list to introduce you to what South Africa could offer you in the world of cannabis. Stay tuned for more as we continue to update our list.

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Weedo: The new kicks on the block




Ever since the inception of 8000Kicks and their introduction of sustainable hemp footwear, inquiries directed to co-founder Bernardo Carreira often humorously inquire about the safety of smoking the brand’s sneakers. Although a jest, the consistent stream of such queries on the brand’s social media channels augured well. Never one to squander a creative opportunity, Carreira seized upon his clientele’s suggestion by partnering with the renowned European seed bank, Royal Queen Seeds (RQS), to birth WEEDO: an exclusive collection of shoes crafted from premium cannabis blooms.

8000Kicks typically harnesses traditional hemp fibers, transforming them into footwear through a multi-stage process encompassing harvesting, retting, carding, and pulping of the source material, culminating in the spinning of yarn, which is then meticulously woven into textiles of superior quality.

WEEDO footwear, however, diverges from convention by incorporating CBD extracted from the cannabis plant. Each shoe is meticulously crafted using up to 500 grams of top-tier CBD sourced from cannabis plants. They are exceedingly sought-after, with only a limited edition of 100 pairs available. Offered exclusively on the RQS and 8000Kicks websites on a first-come, first-served basis, the steep price range of WEEDO footwear (1000-1500€/$1500USD) reflects the substantial cost and labor invested in producing such a distinctive and captivating product.

According to Carreira, the genesis of WEEDO stemmed from a collaborative brainstorming session conducted via email between himself and RQS President Shai Ramsahai, which culminated in a face-to-face meeting at Spain’s annual Spannabis cannabis expo. “We were already entertaining the idea of a collaboration,” Carreira remarks. “Upon our rendezvous at Spannabis, we formalized our intent. Amidst a plethora of unconventional concepts, the notion of a cannabis-infused shoe took root.”

What does the creation of a cannabis-infused shoe entail? Carreira elucidates that the process involves the utilization of an industrial grinder to pulverize cannabis blooms into minute fragments, subsequently hand-stitched onto the shoe with meticulous precision.

In a bid to spotlight sustainable materials, WEEDO footwear integrates cotton alongside hemp for laces, insoles, and interiors. Furthermore, to ensure the shoes align with vegan and eco-friendly standards, these materials are bonded using water-based adhesive. Moreover, their aesthetic and olfactory appeal is noteworthy.

A footwear marvel: A sneaker boasting innate aging capabilities? This further fuels the enthusiasm of sneaker aficionados for the collaboration between Royal Queen Seeds, 8000Kicks, and Nisiseltor Studio.
Visually, the sneakers evoke the impression of having been uniformly coated in freshly ground cannabis—a spectacle that is surreal, chic, and remarkably sustainable.

photo: 8000Kicks

“The most remarkable aspect of these shoes lies in their appearance, texture, and aroma,” Carreira muses. “Even with the shoe before me in my office, I find it difficult to fathom that we’ve actualized a cannabis-infused shoe. Its singularity is what renders it so captivating.”

Augmenting its novelty is the revelation that fortunate possessors of WEEDO footwear will observe a color metamorphosis over time. This phenomenon is straightforward: owing to their composition of authentic cannabis blooms, the shoes are predisposed to transitioning from verdant to earthy tones as the blooms desiccate.

A sneaker endowed with inherent aging properties? This serves as yet another catalyst for the fervor surrounding this special collaboration between Royal Queen Seeds, 8000Kicks, and Nisiseltor Studio. In fact, Carreira reports an influx of over 5000 new registrations subsequent to the public announcement of WEEDO’s impending release. With such fervent interest, could 8000Kicks continue along this trajectory with subsequent releases featuring authentic cannabis?

“It’s quite a formidable endeavor, truth be told,” Carreira acknowledges. “Presently, our focus is on finalizing the pre-sale launch of WEEDO.”

While the CEO of 8000Kicks understandably directs his attention toward the imminent launch of WEEDO, he remains open to the prospect of future fantastical and groundbreaking innovations.

“Our objective is to deliver WEEDO with unparalleled quality, leaving our clientele astounded, but thereafter…the possibilities are boundless,” he asserts. “Consider this: Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma—titans in the industry, yet none have ventured into this realm. Yet, we have—we’ve birthed the world’s inaugural cannabis-infused shoe.”

Remarkable, isn’t it? Ponder on that for a moment.

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