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Update: Please read about the unfortunate new turn of events here.

The discussion of legalizing cannabis on a federal level is still a hotly debated topic, with impassioned opinions on both sides of the argument. As a result of the lack of research and agonizing gridlock that is federal bureaucracy, little has changed in the opposition’s point of view. One ray of sunshine comes from Longmont, Colorado; where the winds of change are beginning to pick up. According to Kunc.org:

CBDRx, a Longmont, Colorado cannabis farm, has secured a certification to market its products with the organic seal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a major coup for the plant’s enthusiasts.’

This should come as a happy surprise to cannabis consumers across the country. If the farm continues to heed to the restrictions of the Farm Bill, CBDRx will be certified organic. This is uncharted territory for the plant, and receiving this certification seems to create more questions than answers. “Where is the line drawn and why?” The article continues, stating that the ambiguity begins with semantics:

‘“Hemp,” “cannabis,” “marijuana,” and the plant’s countless nicknames are used interchangeably and as shorthand to denote the chemical makeup of different varieties. As it stands now, the Farm Bill makes some varieties of cannabis, colloquially known as “hemp,” federally recognized and legitimate crops as long as they’re below a THC threshold.’

This helps smooth the edges a bit, if the plant’s THC levels are at or below a certain percentage, it remains certified organic hemp. This can be regulated by selective breeding of low THC strains of cannabis and regular testing of potency with state of the art laboratories. But what about CBD levels? CBD (Cannabidiol) is an active ingredient found in cannabis that actually counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. Cannabidiol plays an active role in cannabis medicine, and its absence from the discussion is disconcerting to say the least.

Aside from the confusion, this is a landmark achievement for not only CBDRx, but for the cannabis movement as a whole. This opens up new realms of possibilities for the cannabis plant and will hopefully lead to more government-funded research in the future. Government involvement and certification allows for the possibility of acceptance and understanding to take hold. Political correctness has always plagued cannabis’ reputation with negative connotations. USDA approval of CBDRx’s hemp might be the next step in adjusting those connotations and help show cannabis in new and positive light. However, everything in life must be taken with a grain of salt. The USDA did allow Twinkies to exist after all.

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