May 17, 2019

Hemp News from Texas, California and Georgia – Great, Good and Blecch

GREAT NEWS FROM TEXAS: This week, the Texas State Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed House Bill 1325, based on the Roundtable’s Model State Act. The bill would launch a hemp growth program – making Texas the 44th State in the USA — and provide belt-and-suspenders protection for hemp products like CBD, with labeling and retailer registration requirements. The House is expected to concur with the Senate changes, meaning the bill could become law as early as today. Big thanks to all Hemp Supporters in the Lone Star State who had their voices heard!

GOOD NEWS FROM CALIFORNIA: Yesterday, the California Assembly’s Appropriations Committee UNANIMOUSLY passed AB 228, which would expressly permit the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD in foods and supplements, and also in topical applications. As you probably remember, last year, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance, inaccurately alleging that hemp-derived CBD is prohibited by law to be sold in retail stores in the state. The passage of AB 228 would redress the pronouncement which has cast a chill on legal commerce in popular products that promote health and wellness among California citizens, making clear that hemp and hemp-products are legal for retail sale. It is now onto the House floor, and we are pushing for a 2/3 vote to ensure its urgent application. If you live in California, please use our State Action Center today – urge your legislators to support AB 228. If not, please share with your friends and colleagues that do!

BLECCH NEWS FROM GEORGIA: Last week, Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 213 which makes Georgia the 42nd state to adopt a hemp growing program. The bill explicitly removed hemp-derived CBD from drug control. Unfortunately, this week, state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black sent out this release that claims that because of the FDA’s guidance, CBD cannot be sold as a food additive or dietary supplement in the Peach State. Regular readers of this space know that the Roundtable strongly disagrees with this assessment – in our informed opinion, the FDA’s guidance is inaccurate, and it is neither final, nor legally binding. However, we anticipate a continued battle in the Georgia. Hemp Supporters, please stay tuned for our next strategy.