United States: Cannabis and Hemp Update

To date, just about all states have legalized cannabis for medicinal use, with an additional 10 states legalizing the drug recreationally. American support for full legalization continues to be on the rise, according to recent polls, but even though state laws are changing, marijuana remains an illegal substance at the federal level. In fact, possible federal penalties for trafficking the drug are similar to heroine and include the potential for lifetime incarceration and forfeiture of assets. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued new regulations regarding the use of hemp, in 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminded the public that it possesses regulatory authority over products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

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