When the 2018 Farm Bill was inked, one of the biggest perceived wins was a provision prohibiting states from interfering with interstate transport or shipment of hemp. It turns out that this protection was for a long time meaningless. Many hemp transporters today face just as much risk when transporting hemp as they did before the 2018 Farm Bill was signed—and in some cases, even more risk.
In this post, I’ll walk through exactly how we got into the current mess we are in and why transporting hemp can be such a massive risk—even though hemp is technically federally legal (or at least no longer a controlled substance).
The biggest problem with the 2018 Farm Bill’s blanket prohibition on interference with interstate transport is that for a long time, it didn’t actually exist. As we wrote back in early 2019, the prohibition on interference ONLY applied to hemp cultivated under the 2018 Farm Bill. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) didn’t create hemp regulations until late 2019 and only approved its first hemp plans at the very end of 2019, so the protections on interstate transport arguably didn’t kick in until the first harvests by cultivators operating under those