Lawyers are an essential part of the hemp industry, as they play a critical role in ensuring that hemp businesses are operating within the boundaries of the law. Hemp laws in the U.S. keep evolving as the government tries to streamline the implementation of the Agricultural Acts of 2014 & 2018. It will be a few years before the laws are cast in stone, so in the meantime hemp businesses will need to work closely with their legal advisors to ensure that their operations are in sync with the law.
For those in the hemp industry, there are a number of reasons to get a good lawyer. There are also a number of factors that you should consider when finding the best lawyer. This brief article outlines the legal specifics of dealing with hemp in the U.S., and breaks down the process of finding a good lawyer in this industry.
What Is A Hemp Lawyer?
A hemp lawyer is a legal practitioner who is specialized in the hemp world. This means that they understand the laws that govern the hemp industry and also understand the legal aspects of running a hemp business.
Hemp lawyers go through the same training as any other lawyers, but they take extra time to study and understand the ever-evolving hemp laws. As such, they are well equipped to help hemp businesses navigate through the complicated process of getting on their feet. This includes getting through the extensive hemp licensing process and adhering to compliance requirements.
Regulatory Issues and Compliance in the Hemp Industry
The Agricultural Act of 2018 technically legalized hemp at a federal level by reclassifying it as an agricultural commodity. However, this industry has significantly more regulations than other industries because of the close relationship that hemp has with cannabis, which is illegal under federal law.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the production and distribution of hemp in the U.S. The U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program was rolled out in October 2019, and it outlines the following parameters that govern the hemp industry:
- Hemp seed certification
- The legal tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limit in hemp
- Testing of hemp products in Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) certified labs
Hemp businesses must adhere to the set limit of THC in hemp which should not exceed 0.3%. Hemp products must be tested by independent labs to ensure that this THC limit is not exceeded, and if it is the hemp in question must be destroyed.
A hemp lawyer should be familiar with state regulations governing hemp production and distribution, and how they affect different hemp businesses. So far, 47 states have crafted laws and created programs for hemp cultivation and production. Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota are the exceptions.
What Does A Hemp Lawyer Do?
As previously stated, hemp lawyers help hemp businesses comply with the regulatory guidelines in the industry. Licensing is one of the key issues and this includes hemp cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, and distribution of hemp products. A hemp lawyer will walk you through the process of applying for a license in your state, getting your hemp business registered, and making sure you’re operating in full compliance with the law. A hemp lawyer will also handle the legal aspects of setting up a hemp company.
If you are in any kind of partnership, a hemp lawyer will help you draft a contract outlining the roles, rights, and responsibilities of each partner. This will help protect in the event that any of your partners fail to fulfill their part of the contract.
Once the business has been set up, a hemp lawyer will guide you through the legal aspects of banking, financing, accounting, marketing, packaging, and labeling products.
The Top Hemp Lawyers in the US
Hemp Law Group
The Hemp Law Group is Tennessee’s premier hemp focused law firm. This law firm helps hemp growers, distributors, processors, and retailers work through the evolving hemp laws with ease. This includes helping businesses form contracts and also offer defense in the case of civil and criminal litigation matters.
The Rodman Law Group
The Rodman Law Group is focused on helping industrial hemp businesses apply for licensing and comply with regulatory requirements. RLG is based out of Denver, Colorado.
Hoban Law Group
The Hoban Law Group offers legal services to hemp businesses in different parts of the globe. Their lawyers are experts in this field and offer competent services.