February 07, 2020
Help Us Pass Pro-Hemp Bills in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and South Dakota
State legislative sessions are underway and there are several important hemp and CBD bills currently being considered and debated. Over the past few weeks, we have highlighted some key legislation (in states like Hawaii, Kentucky, and Washington). We will continue this effort in the weeks ahead.
Today, we are highlighting important legislation in five states, including in two states that do not have hemp programs. We encourage all Hemp Supporters to use our State Action Center to contact their legislators and urge them to pass these bills into law.
CALIFORNIA: The end of 2019 left many California Hemp Supporters disappointed because AB 228, which would have legalized the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD, was declared dead. However, we are excited to share that AB 228 is being taken up again in the California Assembly. We are actively lobbying for AB 228’s enactment. California Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to support AB 228.
MASSACHUSETTS: As we shared in our January update, lawmakers from the Bay State have introduced a bill that provides some of the strongest protections for CBD in the country. The bill—HB 4001—addresses unfavorable guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. HB 4001 is tremendously important for the hemp industry in Massachusetts and across the country, as it makes clear that CBD may be added to cosmetic and food products and that such products are not adulterated simply due to inclusion of CBD. The USHRT has an active lobbying campaign to help HB 4001 become law. Massachusetts Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to encourage state legislators to support HB 4001.
MAINE: We recently reported that the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry issued rules that prohibit retailers from selling consumable hemp products unless those products are produced in Maine. There is a bill before the Maine legislature—LD 1747—that would change that for the better. The bill makes clear that CBD may be added to food and that the addition of CBD does not cause a food to become adulterated. It also strengthen Maine’s hemp program. LD 1747 has been postponed, so we need your help in getting it back on the legislative agenda! Maine Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to support LD 1747 (or any other bill that provides protections for hemp-derived CBD).
MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi is one of only three states that have not established a hemp program. In fact, there are real concerns that Mississippi officials will treat hemp as marijuana. Fortunately, positive change is happening. HB 320 was recently introduced in the Mississippi House. The bill removes hemp-derived CBD from Mississippi’s Schedule I controlled substances list. This is an important first step. If enacted, HB 320 will remove all doubt that hemp is legal in the Magnolia State and possibly open the doors to a full hemp program. Mississippi Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to support HB 320.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Like Mississippi, South Dakota is one of only three states without a hemp program. You probably heard that, in 2019, Governor Kristi Noem vetoed a bill that would have established a hemp program in South Dakota. Her veto was just a few votes away from being overridden. There is yet again a bill before the South Dakota legislature—HB 1008—that would create a hemp program. The bill also allows for the purchase and sale of CBD. Governor Noem has stated that as long as the bill meets her “guardrails,” she will sign it. South Dakota Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to support HB 1008.
Even if you do not hail from or live in any of these states, please share this email with people who do, as well as your friends, colleagues, customers, and social media contacts. When we raise our voices for hemp, we win!