Legalization of Commercial Hemp under the Federal Farm Bills of 2014 and 2018: What Attorneys Should Know


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

In this presentation, nationally-recognized cannabis law attorney Richard Blau explains the history and current status of the recently legalized hemp industry. Starting with an overview of America’s stormy relationship with the cannabis sativa plant, Blau explains the historical dichotomy that existed between federal and state laws governing the cultivation, processing and commercialization of cannabis products, including hemp, prior to 2014.Starting with the Farm Bill of 2014, and focusing on the major developments resulting from passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Blau reviews the legalization of the hemp industry in America, and the specific elements associated with federal as well as state regulation. Blau’s presentation will include descriptions of specific government programs currently available to assist hemp farmers, as well as the slew of regulatory compliance responsibilities associated with this heavily regulated stream of commerce. Blau’s presentation will conclude with observations about pending legal initiatives that potentially could make hemp one of America’s most important agricultural commodities.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Current hemp industry metrics regarding production, profitability and projected growth of the industry
•   Requirements to lawfully cultivate and commercialize hemp
•   Federal and State regulatory responsibilities
•   Operational challenges, including government reporting requirements, access to financial services and availability of insurance
•   Sources of Support, including government programs, industry trade associations and useful online databases

Date / Time: February 10, 2020

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: January 16, 2020

Richard M. Blau, Esq. is a shareholder with the law firm of GrayRobinson, P.A. He is chairman of the law firm’s Regulated Products Law Department, and heads up the firm’s Cannabis Industry Law Team focusing on the rules and regulations that govern the cultivation and production, processing, distribution, sale and dispensing of medical marijuana, hemp, CBD and related cannabis products.

Mr. Blau has been rated “Band 1” by Chambers USA since 2007, and was among the first lawyers in America to be rated Band 1 Nationwide for Cannabis Law. He also is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell. A substantial portion of Richard’s professional efforts are focused on trade regulations, litigation and dispute resolution involving regulated products such as alcohol beverages, tobacco, firearms and explosives, as well as medical marijuana, hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) and related cannabis derivatives. He has been involved extensively with the legalization of cannabis in Florida since its outset with passage of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 (SB 1030) into law on June 6, 2014.

An elected member of The American Law Institute, Richard also is a member of The Florida Bar, The New York Bar, The Bar Association of the District of Columbia, the American Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association. He currently serves as a board member of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (AHIA).

Richard has written and lectured extensively on issues related to the legalization of the medical marijuana and broader cannabis industries, as well as the interaction between federal and state laws regulating cannabis. Most recently, he was the keynote speaker in the National Business Institute’s 2019 seminar Medical Marijuana in Florida, as well as a lecturer on Mastering Cannabis & Marijuana Regulation for The Rossdale Group. Richard also advises financial institutions and investment organizations such as JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Raymond James on the unique legal issues associated with the interplay between federal financial services regulations and state laws legalizing cannabis.

Mr. Blau has been interviewed regarding medical marijuana issues by newspaper, radio and television journalists from numerous media outlets, and has written extensively regarding medical marijuana and cannabis. Examples include:

• Industrial Hemp Could Save American Agriculture
• Legalizing the Recreational Use of Marijuana in Florida Appears a No-Go in 2019
• Federal Appellate Court to Review Idaho Seizure of Industrial Hemp

Mr. Blau received his B.A. from Brandeis University and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as the Associate Editor for Topics of the Georgetown Law Journal.

Accreditation Policy
myLawCLE seeks accreditation for all programs in all states. (Accreditation for paralegals sought thru NALA and NFPA paralegal associations.) Each attending attorney/paralegal will receive a certificate of completion following the close of the CLE program as proof of attendance. In required states, myLawCLE records attorney/paralegals attendance, in all other states attorney/paralegal is provided with the approved CLE certificate to submit to their state bar or governing association.

    Automatic MCLE Approvals

All myLawCLE CLE programs are accredited automatically either directly or via reciprocity in the following states: AK, AR, CA, CT, FL, HI, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, NJ, NY, and VT. (AZ does not approve CLE programs, but accepts our certificates for CLE credit.)

    Live Video Broadcasts

Live video broadcasts are new live CLE programs being streamed and recorded for the first time. All of these programs qualify for “Live” CLE credit in all states except NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, SC, and LA —these states require in-person attendance to qualify for “Live” CLE credit.

    “Live” Re-Broadcasts

“Live” Re-broadcasts are replays of previous recorded CLE programs, set on a specific date and time and where the original presenting speakers calls in live at the end of the event to answer questions. This “live” element allows for “live” Re-broadcast CLEs to qualify for “Live” CLE credits in most states. [The following states DO NOT allow for “live” CLE credits on re-broadcast CLEs: NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, SC, and LA]

Many states allow for credit to be granted on a 1:1 reciprocal basis for courses approved in another mandatory CLE jurisdiction state. This is known as a reciprocity provision and includes the following states: AK, AR, HI, CT, FL, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, VT, NJ, and NY. myLawCLE does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars or teleconferences in these states.

Part 1. The Embarrassingly Sordid History of Cannabis Regulation in America

I. Cannabis Sativa, “Marihuana” and Hemp
II. Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
III. The Revolutionary Legalization of Cannabis
IV. Legalization of Commercial Hemp under the Federal Farm Bills of 2014 and 2018
V. Federal and State Programs for Cultivating Hemp
VI. Regulatory Responsibilities and Continuing Challenges for Efficient Commercialization of Hemp

Part 2. Upcoming Legal Developments and Their Impact on Lawful Hemp Cultivation