published on December 20, 2018 - 2:14 PM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) – President Donald Trump has signed a massive $867 billion farm bill that reauthorizes agriculture and conservation programs without any cuts to the food stamp program.

Trump signed the bill Thursday after the Agriculture Department announced plans to tighten work requirements for recipients of food aid.

Negotiations over the farm bill had stalled for months in Congress over a provision by the House to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and over the Senate’s unwillingness to go along.

Trump had voiced strong support for stricter work requirements.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the regulation to tighten work requirements was a tradeoff for Trump’s support for the bill.

The farm bill will cost roughly $400 billion over five years or $867 billion over 10 years.

A provision of the farm bill that received final approval in Congress on Wednesday removes hemp from the list of federally controlled substances and treats the low-THC version of the cannabis plant like any other agricultural crop. THC is the cannabis compound that gives pot its high.

The change sets the stage for greater expansion in an industry already seeing explosive growth because of growing demand for cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp that many see as a way to better health.

Federal legalization could triple the overall hemp market to $2.5 billion by 2022, with $1.3 billion of those sales from hemp-derived CBD products, according to New Frontier Data, a cannabis market research firm.


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