With the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is now fully and permanently removed from drug control and treated by federal law as an agricultural commodity. The nascent hemp industry, already growing rapidly under the previous pilot program regime, is now expected to boom into a multi-billion-dollar colossus, with products such as hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) poised to capture the national imagination.
Hemp’s legalization is primarily owed to a courageous, bi-partisan collection of state and federal lawmakers, most prominently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who used the full weight of his influence to end hemp’s prohibition. But behind the scenes, the attorneys and professionals at Frost Brown Todd (FBT), and its government relations affiliate, CivicPoint, played an outsized role in reaching today’s milestone.
FBT and CivicPoint lobbyists were intimately involved in the drafting of key federal and state laws, including the hemp provisions in both the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. In the intervening years, FBT attorneys fought tooth and nail for hemp interests when federal and state agencies took misguided law enforcement actions, reversing seed seizures in federal court and shielding private clients from arrest and citations in state and local forums.
Meanwhile, as a firm with more than 500 attorneys in nine states that cover most significant practice areas – from commercial litigation to corporate deal-making to intellectual property to FDA regulation – FBT has emerged as the nation’s leading full-service law firm in the hemp space. We’ve helped hemp companies go public on the Canadian and Australian stock exchanges, secured trademark rights, assembled complex corporate deals and assisted clients with the day-to-day blocking and tackling needed for a successful entrepreneurial venture.
Leading FBT’s hemp efforts is Jonathan Miller, recognized as one of the key national figures behind hemp’s reemergence, having served as General Counsel to the US Hemp Roundtable, the nation’s leading business trade association, and as a trusted counsel to dozens of private clients. Miller is complimented by a diverse team of attorneys, covering a broad range of practice specialties.