Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:

CBD

CBD companies could reach new highs in 2021 with potential reform

Not only are retailers, like Sephora, Vitamin Shopped, CVS, and Walgreen’s stocking shelves with CBD products, the industry is also seeing a significant shift in consumer attitudes toward the product. A Gallup poll shows support at a new high of 68% up from 66% year over year, leading Nielsen analysts to say CBD product sales could reach $6.9 billion by 2025. Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sens. Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden, have plans to release a new omnibus cannabis reform bill that will tackle de-scheduling and/or decriminalization of cannabis at the federal level.  Bay Street

Hemp

Hemp legalization bill introduced

Idaho’s House Agriculture Committee voted unanimously to introduce new legislation to legalize industrial hemp in Idaho. The vote clears the way for a full hearing on the bill, which supporters said they hope will settle years of debate about how to allow for industrial hemp production by Idaho farmers without running afoul of concerns about marijuana. Idaho is the last state in the nation to take this step; industrial hemp already is legal in 49 states and at the federal level. Idaho law currently makes no distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. As a result, the state has had several truck drivers hauling loads of industrial hemp through Idaho arrested and threatened with drug trafficking charges that carry mandatory minimum prison terms. Last year, legislation to legalize industrial hemp passed the Idaho Senate but was killed by one vote in the House State Affairs Committee, after anti-marijuana activists warned lawmakers that the bill would open the door to the “marijuana-hemp culture” in Idaho.  Idaho Press

Bill aims to separate state’s hemp industry from legal marijuana

With marijuana now legalized for recreational use in Montana, a Fort Benton lawmaker is advancing legislation intended to protect the state’s industrial hemp crop from running afoul of federal law. Republican Rep. Josh Kassmier told a Senate panel his bill would automatically align the definition of hemp in Montana with that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ensuring the state’s hemp farmers retain access to interstate commerce and banks. The state’s current definition of hemp is limited to plants containing no more than 0.3% THC. While that is currently in line with federal regulations, the state Agricultural Sciences Division administrator said federal law now allows for more variance when those crops are tested for THC content, up to 1%. Kassmier added that failing to make the change to state law could effectively shut down the state’s hemp industry if federal law changes, forcing farmers to wait out the two-year period between legislative sessions to resume business.  Independent Record

Hemp advocates look to N.Y. legislature

Displeased about New York state’s proposed hemp regulations, some advocates are looking to lawmakers to help their fledgling industry. After hemp flower sales were barred by the Department of Health’s proposed rules, lawmakers in both chambers introduced bills that would allow the sale of hemp flower. Allan Gandelman, president of New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association, said the ban on hemp flower cuts off one of the only practical and lucrative avenues for growers. He emphasized an urgent need to repair regulations proposed by the state, which would force farmers to sell hemp to processors at a significantly reduced rate than if they were able to sell to retailers. The legislation has strong support in both chambers of the Legislature, said Kaelan Castetter, director of policy analysis for the Castetter Cannabis Group. He urged lawmakers to quickly pass the bills.  Politico Pro

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