March 25, 2022
More Bill Updates, New Bills in Two States, and Issues in PA
Check out the latest legislative updates across the states and take action today!
We have several state updates to share this week!
Your voices have been heard in Virginia. More than 1000 Hemp Supporter emails were sent to Governor Glenn Youngkin urging a veto of SB 591, a bill that could criminalize the sale of most full-spectrum hemp products. The Governor listened, and the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, in conjunction with our intrepid Advocacy Partners, the Virginia Hemp Coalition, is now in discussions with the Governor’s office to urge him to use his unusually broad powers to amend SB 591. We are specifically encouraging an amendment which would replace the unreasonable THC limits (0.25 mg/per serving; 1 mg/per product) with limits determined by a rigorous regulatory process, based on scientific analysis and industry input. Please use our State Action Center to email the Governor today to encourage him to amend SB 591 in such a manner.
In Florida, the Roundtable worked diligently throughout the legislative session to defeat several bills that would have prohibited the sale of ingestible hemp products to anyone 21 years old. The bill sponsors refused to strike the age restriction, so the Roundtable persuaded committee chairs to not hear the bills. The Roundtable also thwarted a last-ditch effort to enact the age restriction—and expand it to topical products—in a bill relating to the Department of Health. As the Roundtable pointed out, the bill was not germane because the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, not the Department of Health, regulates the state hemp program. But for the same reason, the Roundtable’s proposed amendment limiting the age restriction to delta-8 and intoxicating restrictions also failed.
Also in Florida, the Roundtable worked with legislative staff to find a vehicle for language clarifying that hemp supplement products for animals may be sold. Unfortunately, there were no germane bills that emerged from the committee process. The Roundtable suggested including the language in a budget bill, but the language was deemed too policy heavy and definitional to be included in the budget. We will make this a priority again next year.
We previously highlighted Indiana SB 209. The bill narrows the definitions of “hemp product” and “low THC hemp extract” by referring to total THC instead of delta-9 THC, and it adds isomers, salts, and salts of isomers to the definition of “synthetic drug.” The bill passed the Senate, but the House struck the hemp-related language and instead passed a version for a committee to study the topic. Legislators did not reach an agreement, and the bill died before the session ended on March 8.
We urged Hemp Supporters in Utah to oppose HB 385. The Governor signed the bill into law. The new law prohibits producing, selling, or using a CBD product that is added to a conventional food or beverage. It also prohibits selling noncompliant material, transporting noncompliant material into or out of state, or selling smokable flower.
New bills in two states caught our attention. In Tennessee, amended HB 1927 would redefine “marijuana” to include hemp that exceeds 0.3% THC. While the bill seems designed to target intoxicating cannabinoids like delta-8, it would effectively prohibit all hemp products with more than 0.3% of any THC. Some states, like Michigan, have embraced what we think is the optimal approach—limiting such products to adult-use cannabis markets and not treating them as controlled substances.
A similar bill in Georgia, SB 614, prohibits the production, purchase, sale, distribution, or consumption of hemp-derived delta-8, while at the same time excluding delta-8 from the definitions of marijuana and THC.
Finally, we’re hearing that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and Department of Agriculture are working together to prevent licensed alcohol retailers from selling CBD. This decision is unfortunate because it closes markets for Pennsylvania farmers and exacerbates economic difficulties for businesses and consumers. If you are experiencing this, please let us know. We will be following up with the state agencies to urge them to reverse their approach.