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2015: Making CBD “Sausage”

Laws are like sausages, it’s better not to see them being made.”

The following is the letter I wrote in 2015 to the person handling hemp for then-Congressman Polis. It was on behalf of 18 CBD companies, fifteen in Colorado and three of which were the largest in the country at the time. It was from the Medicinal Hemp Association, the formation of which was announced the year before at Polis’ hemp symposium in Boulder.

The point of the letter was to highlight the problem of FDA from a CBD company perspective, as well as advocate for 1% max THC. Both were issues few foresaw at the time, but at the top of most minds today.

The “attached bill” mentioned was the Farm Freedom Act which I wrote, see it after the letter. I received no reply. The same person is still in a position to go out of her way to not help hemp farmers, at another state bureaucracy.

The one time I spoke to her, a founder of the Rocky Mountain Hemp Association/National Hemp Association (RMHA/NHA) aggressively interrupted me to tell her that basically every RMHA/NHA member was a RICO felon, a grossly ignorant mis-statement of law and fact. Some of you even paid this later-disgraced lobbyist to throw you under the bus to the Congressman’s assistant and others. It’s a bit Stockholm Syndrome-y, like buying Nazi-brand Matzoh for Passover. And you wonder why I’m so skeptical about hemp associations…


Dear Mara–

I am writing to you on behalf of a broad national coalition based in Colorado, with 15 leading Colorado Hemp companies and 3 of the largest national ones. Our concern is with the meager protections for the Colorado Hemp Industry provided by the current bills HR525 (2014) and S134 (2015).

Those bills certainly are what we wanted 20 years ago. However, in the last 6 years, there’s been a revolution in Hemp that has caught even the Hemp lobby flat-footed: non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (CBD).

If not for CBD, these bills would be fine. But in an era of non-toxic CBD being proven effective for a wide range of conditions in human and pet populations, FDA will undoubtedly view this emerging industry as ripe for its regulation. The current situation is similar to that of dietary supplements in the ‘90s, which resulted in DSHEA 1994 to protect them. Hemp needs its version of DSHEA. We must act now to protect non-psychoactive Cannabinoids derived from low-THC Hemp. Merely allowing the states to permit leaves the door open for the drug war on Hemp to continue, but with FDA using the FDC 1938 instead of DEA using the CSA 1970.

Therefore, we believe it is imperative that any new Hemp bill include provisions for blocking enforcement of FDC 1938 on Cannabinoids. Such a provision is IMPERATIVE for the continued development of Hemp in the state of Colorado.

The use of the CBD:THC ratio as a definition of Hemp is from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report “Recommended Methods for the Identification and Analysis of Cannabis and Cannabis Products,” and in fact our provision is TWICE as restrictive than the UN. The more CBD in the plant, the less THC will be effective as an intoxicant.

Lastly, having a 1% THC level recognizes the importance of heritage cultivars of now-feral Hemp throughout the country since 1610, on the order of 300,000 acres. This genetic legacy from our founding fathers is ideally suited for breeding stock for Hemp farmers local to where it is found, and can be the basis for hearty new, localized cultivars. But not if the limit is 0.3%, as some of it can be more than 0.3% THC, but most is under 1%.

Please note that as of 12/31/14, the states of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington all had 1% max THC as their standard for Hemp, and Alabama and Iowa had 3%. As you can see, these are not new and theoretical ideas, they are practical and already in use as Best Practices elsewhere. Hemp containing 1% THC is not a diversion risk, especially in a marijuana-legal state.

American farmers need to be on a level playing field with Europe, and Colorado Hemp farmers want to take the lead on production of non-psychoactive Cannabidiol. Many companies are poised to do so, having invested several dozen millions of dollars in the state. CBD has the potential to transform farming in Colorado, and the resulting health of the population.

Now is not the time for, what is to the Hemp industry, a bad Hemp bill. There is no such thing as a fix-it bill on this. We MUST get it right straight out of the gate, in the next bill offered.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, respectfully request that Congressman Polis please sponsor the attached bill. This is the only Hemp bill that was written by Hemp farmers and processors, for Hemp farmers and processors.

Thank you.

Richard Rose

Medicinal Hemp Association

Boulder County, Colorado

On behalf of:

American Hemp Association

Best CBD

Canna-ceuticals LLC

Cannabis pHd

CannaVest

CBDRX

Colorado Industrial Hemp Coalition

Global Heritage Seeds LLC

Grow Hemp Colorado

Hemp Cleans

Hemp Food Co.

Johnny Hempseed, LLC

Loflin Farms

MediQi Energetics

Michigan Hemp Co.

Original Green Distribution

Perez Agricultural, LLC

Sativa Labs LLC


And this is the “Farm Freedom Act” I proposed in 2015 to not only legalize hemp federally, but also CBD and other hemp flower products (unlike either Farm Bill):


Farm Freedom Act

A BILL

To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude Hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Farm Freedom Act”.

SECTION 2. EXCLUSION OF HEMP FROM DEFINITION OF MARIHUANA.

(a) In General. Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) is amended in paragraph (16):

(1) by striking “(16) The” and inserting “(16)(A) The”;

(2) by adding at the end, the following:

                    “(B) Hemp”

                    “(i) is excluded from the definition of marihuana under subparagraph (A); and”

                    “(ii) shall not be treated as a controlled substance under this Act.”

(b) Definition. Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802), as amended, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“(57) The term ‘Hemp’ means the plant genus Cannabis and any part of such living plant, with a cannabidiol-to-tetrahydrocannabinol ratio of one-to-one (>1:1) or more, or one-percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol.”

SECTION 3. OTHER LIMITATIONS.

(a) Non-Applicability of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) shall not apply to Hemp or chemicals derived from Hemp as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) as amended by this Act, including but not limited to hempseed, hempseed products, flowering tops, and chemicals found in the flowering tops.

(b) State Law. Nothing in this Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict any activities related to the use, production, or distribution of marijuana in a State in which such activities are legal under State law.

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