March 04, 2022
Urgent Action Needed in MN & VA; Promising Developments in AZ and MD; Concerns in WA
We’re putting out another call for urgent action in Virginia. We recently highlighted a couple of bad bills in Virginia that restrict ingestible hemp products, set undue concentration limits, and upend regulatory control. We’re now playing legislative whack-a-mole. One of the bad bills—SB 391—remains a clear threat. And a new bill—SB 591—is equally bad, if not worse. The new bill would outlaw most hemp extracts and would make Virginia the first state in the country to impose milligram limits by statute – and they are arbitrary and ultra-restrictive — instead of through deliberative, science-focused rulemaking. Virginia Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center TODAY to urge lawmakers to oppose SB 391 and SB 591.
On the other side of the coin, positive progress in Minnesota needs your action. Earlier this year, we urged support for Minnesota SF 376, which would somewhat resolve a threat to hemp posed by a state court decision. Minnesota HF 2996 goes even further by explicitly approving hemp extract in food in intrastate commerce. Minnesota Hemp Supporters are encouraged to use our State Action Center to urge lawmakers to pass both bills.
When the Roundtable partners with advocates on the ground, the possibilities are endless. Take Arizona. Recently introduced legislation, SB 1715, creates a new term—“hemp-derived manufactured psychotropic cannabinoids”—for products that are neither hemp nor marijuana and cannot be sold at retail or within Arizona’s adult-use cannabis market. Because Arizona does not have a clear framework for hemp products, we were concerned what the new term would mean for products like CBD and CBN. We wrote the bill sponsor, who connected us with Arizona Dispensaries Association engaged in the effort. Together, we are proposing specific exceptions for nonintoxicating cannabinoids and possibly scientific criteria for determining whether a cannabinoid is actually intoxicating. We expect to urge support for the bill once the new version is introduced.
We are also consulting with state advocacy groups in Washington, where SB 5983 follows bills from earlier this session that limit CBD products to 0.5 mg per serving or 2.0 mg per product “of a cannabinoid that may be impairing.” Any product that exceeds the limit or is marketed as impairing would be considered a “marijuana product” – and would likely unjustly sweep in most full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp extract products. Stay tuned for a call to action.
Finally, we applaud the Maryland Health Alternatives Association, which took the lead on ensuring that threats to full spectrum hemp extracts found in HB 1078 and SB 788 were deferred to a work group that will study the issue of intoxicating cannabinoids and involve industry stakeholders. These grassroots efforts are critical!