April 16, 2021

Major Progress in CA & MA and New Bills in IL, ND, OR & WA

California: We’re excited to share that California SB 235 unanimously passed the Senate Agriculture Committee this week. The bill—and its Assembly companion, AB 45—would allow the distribution and sale of CBD as a food, beverage, and dietary supplement (subject to labeling requirements) and would make clear that a product is not adulterated or misbranded for including hemp. California Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to continue urging state legislators to support AB 45 and SB 235.

Massachusetts: In Massachusetts, HB 146 was referred to the Joint Cannabis Policy Committee. The Roundtable is proudly supporting the bill, which is an outgrowth of HD 2579. The bill defines “hemp products” to include consumable and topical products intended for humans and animals, would make clear that hemp and CBD products may be sold in Massachusetts whether manufactured in or out of state, and would allow CBD to be added to human and animal food products without the products being adulterated. The bill recently gained the support of the former House Chair of the Committee, which means that both previous House Chairs of the Committee are co-sponsors. We’re hopeful that the bill will get a committee hearing soon, but we need your help. Massachusetts Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge state legislators to support HB 146.

We’re also alerting you to the following:

Illinois: As Politico reports, “[t]he burgeoning Delta-8 THC market that has divided the hemp industry is facing more scrutiny from state lawmakers.” In Illinois, HB 147 is designed to regulate delta-8 THC products without even mentioning delta-8 by name. The bill directs the Department of Agriculture to establish labeling, packaging, and testing requirements for all non-marijuana “cannabinoid products.” The requirements would need to be met before a cannabinoid product may be manufactured, processed, or sold in Illinois. It’s hard to say what the new requirements will be, but we’re generally supportive of friendly regulations that do not pose an undue burden and that promote consumer safety. We’ll continue monitoring the bill.

North Dakota: There are two bills on our radar. First, we previously highlighted HB 1213, which redefines THC to include delta-8 THC and removes up to two grams of THC from the term “Controlled Substance.” Since then, the Senate passed a slightly amended version of the bill and returned it to the House for concurrence.

Second, HB 1045 authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to set the total THC limit for hemp. The bill was recently amended in conference committee to include delta-8 THC in the definition of THC. The bill also prevents hemp licensees from isomerizing cannabinoids to create isomers of THC and from selling hemp or hemp products that contain created isomers of THC. The bill not only outlaws isomerization for delta-8, but also prohibits isomerizing cannabinoids to create delta-9 and delta-10 THC. The state House has adopted the amended language and the Senate will soon consider it.

Oregon: As amended, HB 3000 gives the Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulatory authority over “artificially derived cannabinoids.” The bill also redefines THC to include all natural and artificial THCs, including delta-8 and delta-9 THC. This would mean that a hemp product’s THC concentration will be based on the levels of delta-8 and delta-9 THC in the product. We’re watching the bill closely, as it may have serious impacts on hemp manufacturers and retailers in Oregon.

WashingtonSB 5372 would create a registration for hemp processors to manufacture hemp extract for use as a food additive in states where hemp extract is legal as a food additive. This is an important expansion of Washington law, which states that hemp extract cannot be added to food or sold as a dietary supplement. Although there is troublesome language in the bill about products with more than 0.3% THC being marijuana, on the whole, SB 5372 is a good bill that will open new markets for Washington’s hemp farmers and manufacturers and protect hemp extract manufacturing for purposes of banking and other ancillary services. The bill has already passed both chambers of the Washington legislature and is on the Governor’s desk. Washington Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge Governor Jay Inslee to sign SB 5372 into law.