Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:
Products made with CBD oil have become popular, but there are restrictions when it comes to mailing them, as the USPS reminded postal workers. “The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. It also clarified that interstate commerce of hemp is permitted and created a process for each state to regulate hemp production and distribution,” according to the post on USPS Link newsletter. It referred postal employees to Publication 52, Section 453 where it states mailers must comply with all laws and must retain records establishing compliance with such laws – for no less than two years after the date of mailing.
CBD stakeholders say an update from the FDA has done little to advance the process of establishing a regulatory framework for the compound, hampering CBD companies and leaving consumers vulnerable as products continue to flood the market. The update acknowledges that CBD is widely available to consumers, but repeated the refrain that the agency still has “a limited understanding of the safety profile of CBD and many other cannabis-derived compounds.” That drew a rebuke from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, whose president called the statement “nothing more than an end-of-administration desk-clearing exercise from an FDA that has failed to lead in this crucial policy area.” Hemp Today
Within the next few years, hemp farming in Florida is projected to grow to about half the size of the state’s citrus industry. Much of that growth is driven by CBD production. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says hemp cultivation is overtaking some of Florida’s best-known crops. Florida has 22,078 licensed acres of hemp cultivation after just seven months. WLRN
Hemp producers will have more breathing room under newly released rules on the federally mandated THC levels before they are declared criminally negligent, with the margin of error increasing from a total of 0.5% to 1% THC. Hemp farmers and testing agents will also have more time to harvest plants after testing, with the harvest window increased from 15 days to 30 calendar days after sampling is completed, to “better allow for variables such as testing, weather, agricultural practices and equipment delays.” However, there are still several areas of concern that the USDA did not appear to budge on, including sampling requirements and the mandate for laboratories to register with the DEA. The final rule, which was based on public comments from farmers and industry members about interim hemp rules released in 2019, take effect on March 22. Hemp Grower
Under the USDA’s Supplemental and Alternative Crops (SAC) competitive grant program, the agency will make grant money available to support the breeding, testing and development of superior performing hemp varieties. The objective of the program is too help increase the cost effectiveness and competitiveness of hemp grown across the country. Marijuana Moment
California lawmakers will be faced again with the long-debated question of whether to allow hemp extracts in food and beverages in the state, but this time the proposal comes with a twist: The measure would also ban smokable hemp flower – an increasingly popular and unregulated segment of the industry. The ban would be a big concession to make to pass a measure that has pitted marijuana and hemp operators against each other over the regulatory scrutiny each faces. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, a Democrat, carrying the bill, said Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration requested the prohibition on smokable hemp. Hemp Industry Daily
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