This Week in CBD: July 19, 2019
Last Friday, FDA Acting Chief Information Officer Amy Abernethy said that the agency is accelerating its rule-making process for CBD.
In a series of tweets that characterized CBD as “an important national issue with public health impact,” she described the steps the agency has taken — from holding public hearings to reviewing medical literature — to answer safety questions.
According to Abernethy, the agency is “enthusiastic about research into the therapeutic benefits of CBD products,” and it plans to report on its progress in late summer or early fall.
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In North Carolina, a House committee voted to include smokeable hemp in the state’s definition of “marijuana.” This would effectively prohibit the consumption of any non-processed hemp product.
Lawmakers made the decision at the urging of state law enforcement agencies, who say that they lack the resources to determine whether a cannabis product is legal hemp or marijuana.
Furthermore, due to the similarities between the aromas of hemp smoke and that of high-THC cannabis, the scent of cannabis could no longer be used as probable cause for searches.
According to an attorney for the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, “As long as smokable hemp is legal for use and sale in North Carolina, marijuana laws are virtually unenforceable.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Attorney General Ken Paxton want to make one thing crystal clear to the state’s prosecutors: the state’s new hemp law did not decriminalize marijuana.
Prosecutors in Texas have been dropping marijuana cases due to the inability to distinguish between hemp and high-THC cannabis. Without equipment that can determine the percentage of THC in cannabis, they say that they can’t legally prove that a cannabis product is not legal hemp.
In a letter to Texas district and county attorneys, the state leaders wrote, “Failing to enforce marijuana laws cannot be blamed on legislation that did not decriminalize marijuana in Texas.”
Meanwhile, police in Virginia are testing new technology that would allow officers to determine whether they’ve encountered legal hemp or illicit high-THC cannabis.
Forensic chemists in Switzerland developed the new test after their laws changed to allow hemp with up to 1% THC. Facing similar challenges to those their American counterparts are currently experiencing, police in Zurich needed more sensitive testing equipment.
The new testing technology has only recently become available in the US.
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The suspense is almost over for CBD consumers in Ohio. Nearly a year after the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy issued a statement saying that CBD oil may only be sold in state-licensed dispensaries, relief is in sight.
The bill is on the governor’s desk, and includes an emergency clause that will allow it to take effect immediately after being signed into law.
Real Money had this week’s best CBD-related headline: CBD Is Flexing on the Marijuana Industry.
From dispensaries to shopping malls, the demand for CBD is growing, and this look at the industry examines predictions that CBD will overtake adult-use cannabis as the market leader.
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry has scheduled a hearing about hemp farming for next week: “Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill.”
There is not a public agenda for the meeting, but the list of invited witnesses is stacked with FDA and USDA officials and other hemp industry stakeholders.
The founder and former CEO of Edible Arrangements is getting into the CBD industry, the Hartford Business Journal reports.
Through the new company, Incredible Edibles, he plans to grow nearly 20 acres of hemp in Connecticut.
But the resulting CBD won’t be destined for edible arrangements. Rather, it will be refined into a powder form to be used in CBD-infused drinks and baked goods.
Next week, customers at 171 stores — in states including New York, California, Indiana, and Kentucky — will be able to stroll into their nearest Sephora and plunk down $100 to buy CBD skincare products from Lord Jones.
The retailer had previously introduced a small selection of CBD products to shoppers, but they were only available online.