California’s CBD entrepreneurs are filled with optimism as the use of hemp-derived CBD as an ingredient in food, beverages and cosmetics will be revived from suspension and ready for Governor Gavin Newsom to approve by spring.
In 2018, California’s health department did not allow for hemp-derived CBD to be added to food, which this bill will reverse.
“It was unceremoniously shelved at the end of last session in large part due to the intent to allow for hemp products to go into marijuana retail,” Goggin said. “There wasn’t a meeting of the minds between the hemp industry and the marijuana industry at that time in order to get passage.”
Concerns regarding rules associated with selling products in marijuana dispensaries and food safety related to CBD are being reviewed by the bill sponsor to resolve these concerns.
So what’s the next step?
The updated bill calls for hemp to be regulated and tested the same as marijuana. But in Proposition 64 under the “right to farm” provision, hemp should be treated as an agricultural product. This places testing on retailers and handlers instead of farmers.
“It will address the most important issue, which is consumer safety, by having the products come under the regulation of the California Department of Public Health,” Patrick Goggin stated, a San Francisco-based cannabis attorney with Hoban Law Group.
Goggin hopes that California lawmakers will finish work on the measure and get it to Newsom’s desk by as early as March.
Regulation in California
Despite ingestible products being widely sold in states, the FDA still labels CBD in foods and beverages as a no-go. Yet the agency’s delay in revisiting rules and regulations of CBD could lead to states, such as California, passing legislation to protect their consumers, according to Goggin.
“States can’t wait,” he stated. “They’ve got their consumers buying products. They want to ensure that they’re buying safe products, and they don’t see the harm in (CBD) products as long as they’re regulated.”
Josh Schneider, CEO of genetics company Cultivaris Hemp in San Diego said, “This bill creates a legal framework for the growth and development of a new and vibrant wellness industry linked directly to California farms.”