September 01, 2020

Disappointing News from California

Disappointing News from California

We are dismayed to report that efforts have failed, for the time being, to pass legislation in California that would explicitly permit the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement, cosmetic and food and beverage additive.

This weekend, our political system let us down. Due to intra-party fights that had nothing to do with our legislation, the state Senate leadership refused to allow a vote on our legislative language, despite the Governor’s endorsement and the overwhelming bi-partisan support for hemp farmers and our industry.

This disappointing result wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Roundtable was proud to work closely with the California Hemp Council and a broad coalition of California farmers, retailers and small businesses. We were deeply impressed by the leadership shown by our bill authors, Senator Scott Wilk and Assemblypersons Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Buffy Wicks. And we were blown away by the grassroots support we received from you, our Hemp Supporters. More than 1000 emails and phone calls reached legislators this week, almost getting the bill across the finish line during a time where the legislature was consumed with COVID response, both as a policy matter and physical reality.

Still, we remain very optimistic that we will achieve real results soon. During our negotiations, Governor Newsom’s team agreed to immediately establish a policy of formal enforcement discretion, under which current retailers and manufacturers, operating in good faith compliance with current law, would be allowed to continue to sell and manufacture their hemp CBD products until a new law is enacted. We are hopeful that they will keep to that promise, and work closely with us to pass legislation at the earliest convenience. Also on the bright side, the hurried-up negotiating process that resulted from the Governor’s delay to the bargaining table led to technical flaws in the bill which we hope to fix before final passage.

We will continue to need your help. Malign interests lurk behind the scenes trying to impair our industry because they view it as competition to their economic interests. We must continue to be vigilant.

We will keep you updated with developments and plans for future again. Thanks again for your support.