As with most things CBD, the FDA is understandably attempting to play catch-up with an industry that has rapidly grown faster than expected.

Last year, we brought you the exciting news that the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) was poised to bring sweeping changes to the CBD industry. A lot has happened since then, and we’ll cover all the exciting CBD news headlines of 2019 in this comprehensive update.


1. TSA Updates Stance on Travel With CBD

Let’s start with the latest CBD news first. On May 29, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it’s now acceptable to fly with CBD oil. It’s still possible that bringing a whole case of CBD products on a plane could attract scrutiny, but the TSA’s newly updated page on medical marijuana makes it clear that it’s okay to travel with personal quantities of “hemp-derived CBD,” which is exactly the kind of CBD we offer here at CBDfx.com.

On its new CBD page, the TSA specifically credits the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill as the reason why it now feels comfortable allowing you to carry your favorite CBD Gummies, CBD Tinctures, or CBD Face Masks through security. Up until this monumental change, the TSA didn’t differentiate between hemp products and marijuana, but this alteration to TSA policy simply reinforces the fact that the U.S. federal bureaucracy’s stance toward (and understanding of) CBD is rapidly changing.

The next time you fly on a plane, there’s a lot less to worry about when it comes to those CBD products in your bag. Even though this CBD news is highly encouraging for cannabidiol users who like to travel, don’t forget that TSA security remains thorough: of course, the process will be made more enjoyable with the effects of CBD, but you’ll still have to take your shoes off and hold your hands up in the body scanner if you want to make your flight!


2. The FDA Holds a Public CBD Hearing

Another exciting item in CBD news today regards a public hearing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold on May 31 to hear from industry stakeholders as they continue to develop their stance toward CBD. According to the FDA, the purpose of this hearing is to “obtain scientific data and information about the safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.”

It’s likely that this hearing will be conducted to develop more comprehensive policies on some of the aspects of CBD commerce that the FDA didn’t fully rule on after the 2018 Farm Bill. For instance, the FDA still hasn’t made a final decision on the status of CBD in food products, but since CBD law is hardly enforced, major retailers and fast food chains have already started offering CBD-infused food products to the general public.

As with most things CBD, the FDA is understandably attempting to play catch-up with an industry that has rapidly grown faster than expected.

The recent move by the FDA to open up discussion on CBD legislation tells us two things. First, that the FDA possibly intends to take a softer approach to CBD regulation, and second, that this agency is moving quickly and efficiently to keep pace with public interest in CBD and all things hemp. Whatever the results of this hearing may be, it’s clear that we’re entering into a new age of CBD regulation in which the oversight of the FDA will be much clearer (and thus, less worrying) to CBD producers and consumers alike.


3. The USDA Releases a Farm Bill Update

While CBD law was changed forever when the President signed the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) isn’t done tweaking the fine points of how this legislation will be implemented in the real world. On April 12, 2019, this federal agency released an update to the 2018 Farm Bill that helps explain how the world of CBD is already changing due to this monumental legislative change.

BRIEF RECAP: The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 separated cannabidiol (CBD) from the federal government’s definition of marijuana. CBD is, therefore, no longer a Schedule I controlled substance, and instead is treated similarly to other hemp products. At the time of the Farm Bill’s passage, however, it was already clear that this legislation was still a work in progress, even if it gave the green light to CBD manufacturers and consumers around the country.

In its update to the Farm Bill, the USDA details how the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a sub-agency within the USDA, has taken steps to normalize the production of industrial hemp in the United States. The 2014 Farm Bill authorized a federal program to oversee “industrial hemp” production in the USA, which this legislation defined as Cannabis sativa containing 0.3 percent THC or less. This 2019 USDA update indicates that the “2018 Farm Bill extended the 2014 Farm Bill provisions for hemp production by 12 months to allow USDA to complete the required rulemaking process, and USDA intends to issue regulations in the Fall of 2019 in order to accommodate the 2020 planting season.”

While it’s easy to overlook the importance of this update, this recent announcement from the USDA just goes to show that the U.S. federal government is committed to facilitating domestic hemp production to the best of its abilities. As decades-old stigmas against hemp production have lost their relevance and the potential profitability of the industrial hemp industry has become increasingly apparent, the USDA has shown itself willing to take whatever steps necessary to help farmers produce this crop for fiber production, seed production, and CBD extraction.


4. General Market CBD Will Be a $20 Billion Industry by 2024

In the end, the recent acceptance of CBD at the federal and state level boils down to pure economics. The CBD industry has become too big to be contained, and the potential tax revenues of this rapidly-growing industry are too tempting to ignore.

According to one of the more interesting recent CBD news articles, a new financial study by BDS Analytics indicates that the domestic CBD industry could reach $20 billion by 2024. This study isn’t the first of its kind to deliver similar predictions, but it’s the most recent piece of CBD market research to echo what industry speculators have known for nearly 10 years: CBD is on the rise, and opposing its ascendancy in the consumer market is sheer lunacy.

This study’s analysis covers projected CBD sales within the recreational and medical marijuana, pharmaceutical, and general market sectors, and Roy Bingham, the co-founder and CEO of BDS Analytics, had this to say about CBD’s rise:

“We’re witnessing CBD maturing from a cannabis sub-category into a full-blown industry of its own. Our growth forecast for the CBD market, across all distribution channels, predicts a compound annual growth rate of 49 percent by 2024. This is a great opportunity for all involved, but it means the road ahead will include decisions that need to be informed by the best possible data.”

This statement indicates that the most impressive market analysis minds concur that CBD is no longer a subset of the medical and recreational marijuana industry. As the effects of CBD become even more well-known, the CBD industry may even overtake the marijuana industry completely within a decade or less.


5. Multiple States Pass Laws Fully Legalizing CBD

As we detailed in our recent report, many states throughout the US have taken the recent changes to federal CBD law as a green light to pass comprehensive CBD reform. Specifically, Kansas and Florida have signed bills into law that make CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent THC legal for general market sale, and at the time of our last writing, Texas was poised to pass its own legislation providing explicit authorization to this state’s burgeoning CBD market.

We’re happy to report that Texas has just recently succeeded in passing a comprehensive CBD reform bill that follows the lead of Florida, Indiana, and a number of other states in making CBD products with 0.3 percent THC or less legal for general market sale. While the federal government’s de-scheduling of CBD is enough to make CBD legal throughout the nation, these recent pieces of state legislation, which simply echo federal law, are heartening to CBD lovers who want to make absolutely sure that it’s safe to use their favorite cannabinoid in their states.