Industrial Hemp



The cultivation of hemp along with the production of hemp-based products has had a long, tumultuous legal history in the United States. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is typically grown for its industrial uses. Although industrial hemp is derived from the same Cannabis sativa species as the marijuana plant, industrial hemp has lower concentrations of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) which decreases the psychoactive effects. Hemp is used to produce a variety of things, including fiber, paper, biodegradable plastics, biofuel, food products, and animal feed. Read the full overview

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-334 §§ 7129, 7501, 7605, 10113, 10114, 11101, 11106, 11113, 11119, 11121, 12619
Agricultural Act of 2014, 7 U.S.C. § 5940
Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 – 904, 951 – 971
Industrial Hemp Laws: State-by-State


Final Rule for the Establishment of  Domestic Hemp Production Program, 7 CFR §990
Federal Register Rules Open for Comment

Case Law

Case Law Index for Industrial Hemp

Center Research Publications

Industrial Hemp Laws: State-by-State (NALC Research Staff)

Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017
Defining Hemp: A Fact Sheet
Production, Marketing and Regulation of Hemp Products
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:


Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Industrial Hemp:

Administrative Law (Federal and State Farm Programs)

Reference Resources

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act and the agency’s regulation of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds
FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derviced Products, including Cannabidiol (CBD)
FDA Responds to Three GRAS for Hemp Seed-Derived Ingredients for Use in Human Food
Better Data for a Better Understanding of the Use and Safety Profile of Cannabidiol (CBD) Products
What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp
Overview of Hemp
Hemp Production Program
Hemp Production – U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program Launches Hemp eManagement Platform (HeMP)Hemp Production Program Questions and Answers
Hemp Rulemaking Documents
USDA Publishes Final Rule for the Domestic Production of Hemp
Hemp and Farm Programs

Congressional Resources

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry

Other Federal Resources

DEA Announces Actions Related to Marijuana and Industrial Hemp

International Resources

Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA)
Industrial Hemp Production in Canada (Alberta Agriculture & Forestry)
European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA)
Hemp Production in the EU (European Commission)
Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA)

 Additional Resources

State Industrial Hemp Statutes (National Conference of State Legislatures)
Industrial Hemp (Agricultural Marketing Resource Center)
Hemp Industries Association (HIA)
U.S. Hemp Authority
National Hemp Association
Kentucky Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program (Kentucky Department of Agriculture)
Purdue University Hemp Project
ProVerde Laboratories
Agricor Laboratories
Green Leaf Labs
Encore Labs
Agricultural Hemp Solutions
New West Genetics
Cannabis Testing Lab Accreditation Program (ANAB)
Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses (Independent Community Bankers of America)
Hempstead Project Heart For Tribes


Industrial Hemp Production (Penn. State Extension, 2018)
Industrial Hemp Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Seeds, Fiber, Shivs), By Application (Textiles, Personal Care, Animal Care, Construction Materials), By Region, and Segment Forecasts, 2018 – 2025 (Grand View Research, 2018)
DEA Clarifies Marijuana Extract Rule and CBD Legality (Kight on Cannabis, 2017)
Industrial Hemp in North America: Production, Politics and Potential (Small, E and J. Cherney 2016)
Industrial Hemp Production (University of Kentucky Extension, 2015)
Evaluating the Public Interest: Regulation of Industrial Hemp Under the Controlled Substances Act (Kolosov, 57 UCLA L. Rev. 237 (2009))
Industrial Hemp: The Crop for the Seventh Generation  (Lash, 27 Am. Indian L. Rev. 313 (2003)).
Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America (Small, E. and D. Marcus 2002)