February 14, 2020
Bad Bills, Bad Bills: Whatcha Gonna Do? Help us defeat them in Iowa, New Hampshire & Maryland!
For this week’s update, we are featuring anti-hemp and CBD bills in three states. We need your help to defeat the Iowa and Maryland bills, which would harm the hemp and hemp products industries and to amend the New Hampshire bill, which unnecessarily restricts the sale of CBD products. We encourage all Hemp Supporters to use our State Action Center to contact their legislators and urge them to vote “No” on the Iowa and Maryland bills and to amend the New Hampshire bill.
At first glance, HSB 646 appears innocuous. It makes non-substantive changes to some of Iowa’s hemp-related definitions and even provides a new definition for “consumable hemp products” that includes inhalable, ingestible, and topical products. However, the bill also requires that hemp products be produced in compliance with USDA’s Interim Final Rule (“IFR”) and sold in compliance with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (“FDC&A”). As discussed here earlier, many states are not adopting the IFR in 2020, and hemp products from those states could be prohibited. Worse yet, Iowa’s Attorney General has opined that it is illegal under the FDC&A for CBD to be sold as dietary supplements or as a food and beverage additive. Iowa Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to defeat HSB 646.
Just last week, HB 1506 was introduced. It removes hemp from the definition of cannabis, but is also defines cannabis to include a cannabinoid extract with psychopharmacological properties, specifically mentioning CBD. While hemp is distinguished from cannabis, the bill is likely to cause confusion among law enforcement and regulatory officials. And worse, it subjects hemp-derived CBD to Maryland’s cannabis laws and regulations. Maryland Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to defeat HB 1506.
HB 1581 was first introduced in the House in early January and is currently awaiting action in the Commerce and Consumer Affairs committee. This otherwise good bill expressly limits the sale of products containing hemp-derived CBD to products manufactured in the state of New Hampshire. This protectionist trade restriction is potentially unconstitutional, and there is no justification for the exclusive use of New Hampshire-sown hemp in terms of safety – the remainder of the statute already ensures that strict regulatory guidelines will be followed. `Most significantly, any short-term advantages secured by existing large New Hampshire farm operations could ultimately backfire against smaller in-state farmers if such a provision becomes a precedent across the country and a trade war escalates. Further, especially since New Hampshire’s hemp farming industry is not yet mature, New Hampshire retailers and consumers would be impaired by the denial of access to safe, legal products they wish to sell and purchase. New Hampshire Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to amend HB 1581 and allow for the sale of safe, legal, out-of-state hemp products.