America’s hemp industry is famously unregulated. Nearly three years after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growing, processing, and sale of industrial hemp as well as its derivatives, the sector has become lucrative, attracting numerous sellers and achieving billions of dollars in sales. However, federal authorities still haven’t created a comprehensive regulatory structure for hemp, forcing states to pass their own hemp policies and leading to a patchwork of non-standard hemp policies across the country. California, a pioneer in the hemp and cannabis sectors, is the latest state to pass hemp legislation after Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to significantly expand the state’s cannabis industry law.
Bill AB 45 would legalize the retail sales of a wide range of hemp-infused consumable products, finally allowing for the legal sale of nonintoxicating cannabinoids such as CBD as ingredients in food and beverages and dietary supplements. Unlike THC, the main psychoactive agent in cannabis that makes a user feel high, CBD is nonpsychoactive and will not intoxicate the user.
The bill also provides guidance for the sale of cannabinoid-infused products developed out of state. Products infused with CBD have become quite popular thanks to the cannabinoid’s purported medical abilities, with people using products to help alleviate everything from anxiety and insomnia to chronic pain. With the CBD market under constant demand, industry stakeholders and some lawmakers have called on federal authorities to regulate CBD.
Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry was the bill’s sponsor. She decided to enact hemp reform after noticing that the state did not have official regulations for consumer safety despite hemp and CBD’s growing popularity. The sector needed standards to ensure products were safe, properly tested and labeled, she says, adding that even though her bill is a crucial step in the right direction, there’s more work to be done. While Bill AB 45 lays out the groundwork for the sale of smokable hemp in the state, lawmakers will first have to establish a tax scheme for hemp products. Furthermore, the bill includes several requirements for testing and labeling hemp products and allows the sale of cannabinoid-infused pet foods and cosmetics.
The California Department of Public Health has been tasked with writing rules to implement the hemp bill. After years of waiting, the legislation has been met with positive acclaim from the state’s hemp industry. Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, applauded Aguiar-Curry for her “tireless and unparalleled work” crafting the legislation.
It remains to be seen how the passing of this legislation will impact the operations of California-based CBD companies such as Simply Sonoma Inc.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Simply Sonoma Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/Sonoma
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