California Trying to Kill Hemp? (Again)

UPDATE: it appears AB 228/2028 is dead in this session. Expect it to be revived next year. The research institution changes alone would have sunk most research. Adding the Harmonized Tariff Code language included hemp fiber to it, they were likely aiming for imported biomass. Like other marijuana states, they want CBD in dispensaries where they can make more tax on it.

The AUMA-ization of hemp in California just kicked into high gear. Assembly Bill 228 (AB228) was recently changed significantly to turn the California hemp industry (regulated by CDFA) over to the regulated marijuana industry (regulated by CDFA and BCC). Not just CBD, but all hemp products; food, clothes, rope, hempcrete too.

The bill was changed from 1/3 of a page defining and allowing hemp foods and CBD, to 17 pages handing it over to the marijuana industry on a silver platter.

Hemp products (CBD) must now follow the same rules marijuana (THC) does. It is clearly over-regulation and burdensome, which is likely the whole point. Not surprising considering California’s long anti-hemp history. The state is gutting 98% of hemp’s potential value for farmers with this bill.

California is the worst state in which to grow hemp. With thousands of medical grows, they don’t want hemp pollen floating around. While they could have handled that by banning males, monoecious, and hermaphrodites, instead they just make it impossible to grow any hemp. In 1994 Hemp AgroTech grew hemp in Brawley CA with the blessing of the federal government, but the state ploughed it under anyway. California-based Hemp Industries Association (HIA) got a profoundly bad hemp bill passed there in 2013, most of which ended up in AUMA in 2016.

There are many against hemp and hemp-derived CBD including the entire regulated marijuana industry, which wants CBD for themselves. Another is Project CBD, a California company with financial interest in a marijuana-derived CBD company, and has long had it in for hemp CBD. The “CBD is Chinese industrial waste and is inferior” canard is all on them. Few have done as much damage to CBD.

Whereas HIA said DEA was trying to kill hemp products when they weren’t back in 2001, now that California actually is, HIA is silent. That’s despite having a formal seat on the original California Industrial Hemp Advisory Board, plus at least 3 HIA members on it. One is the largest hempseed company in the US, which refused to encourage domestic production and still buys mostly from Canada. Now we see why, they knew for years this was coming and were cool with it.

Since I’m told by people on the ground that this bill is actually being pushed by those pretending to now rally the troops against it, I wonder if it’s yet another Hegelian Dialectic at play by the associations to whip up donations and relevancy?

If their intent was not to highly-regulate all hemp products, just CBD products, a better way would be to make it explicit. Defining the relevant products as “any product to which Cannabidiol is added …” would have fixed it. As it is, AB 228 will drastically reduce the number of retail outlets for hemp products from tens of thosuands to under 1,000. Patient access to CBD will be restricted proportionally.

Summary

It appears they are banning CBD until FDA approves it, and exempting Epidiolex from these rules. Big Pharma wins.

While no doubt they are focused on hemp CBD, it nevertheless includes ALL hemp products, hempseed food, oil, clothes, hempcrete, hemp paper, rope, etc.

Hemp products regulated here include hempseed oil, hemp food, hemp clothes, hempcrete bricks, CBD etc.

All hemp products must be stored at the retailer under lock and key, must have a COA for unspecified “derivatives,” and can only be sold to a person over age 21 with government ID. The state will conduct stings. Records must be preserved for 3 years.

Manufacturers and retailers must be licensed, and they will share information on the unlicensed with law enforcement and the Bureau of Cannabis Control. This is the same policy as they have with the marijuana industry.

“Hemp extract” and “industrial hemp raw extract” are undefined (other than being “not for consumer use”), but still must be tested for unspecified “derivatives.”

“Industrial Hemp Product” is undefined but likely includes all CBD products, but also hempseed oil, hemp foods, body care, shampoo, protein powder, tea, etc.

“Final Form Product” could be literally anything, from a hemp shirt to CBD pills, hemp cookie to hempcrete brick, shelled hempseed to a sheet of hemp graphene.

The use of the word “safe” might be referring to FDA’s “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) process, wherein a food or food ingredient is considered an adulterant if it is not GRAS or an accepted “New Dietary Ingredient” (NDI).

Smokable hemp, CBD vape pens, hemp-containing beer, wine, or spirits, and alcohol-based tinctures are banned outright.

This likely kills off the CBD extraction industry in the state except by marijuana companies, since Hemp Extract Work-In-Process has to be <0.3% THC.

Infringes on interstate commerce explicitly protected in the 2018 Farm Bill, except “Raw Extract”.

Same quality testing as for smoked marijuana is required for hemp products, even clothes.

Extended FDA’s ban on claims to where FDA has no jurisdiction, to intRAstate sales.

Ignores the Tenth Amendment approach and cedes far too much authority to the federal. It is treasonable for a state to do so, the reason hemp became legal in the US is partly because of Colorado’s Tenth Amendment approach, allowing hemp cultivation even before the 2014 Farm Bill.

Includes pet food and products in the human food regulations, but not animal fodder or silage.

Remediation is allowed.

Annual licensing fee of $1,250.

Confused between Total THC (111930c) and delta-9 THC (111925.a1).

Packages need a QR code with additional information on that product online, an unconstitutional impediment to interstate commerce.

Eliminates otherwise-permissible FDA Structure-function claims.

Eliminates most advertising.

Mandates recall plan, inspections, embargoes, notification upon arrest of any licensee or registrant, appoints regulators as gun-toting peace officers, provides for research grants.

If you make the product outside the state, California will still require inspection in other states, at your expense. This is an unconstitutional infringement on interstate commerce.

The CDFA has complete autocratic control over all aspects, even down to serving sizes and labels.

More…

I suspect they are referring to CBD here in this new addition, and banning until FDA approves it:
“Section 110036 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
All laws and regulations pertaining to industrial hemp products shall remain in effect until the adoption of regulations pursuant to the federal act that authorizes industrial hemp products. At that time, the new regulations adopted pursuant to the federal act, or adopted on or after that date, that authorize industrial products shall take effect.”

While no doubt they are focused on hemp CBD here, it includes hempseed food and hempseed oil also. Added:
“Section 110382 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
The label of any package of a food, beverage, or cosmetic containing any cannabinoid derived from industrial hemp shall include at a minimum the following statement in a prominent location on the outer package:
“DO NOT USE CANNABINOIDS WHILE PREGNANT, BREASTFEEDING, CURRENTLY TAKING MEDICATION, OR UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. THE FDA HAS NOT EVALUATED THIS PRODUCT FOR SAFETY OR EFFICACY. USE MAY CAUSE FAILURE OF A DRUG TEST FOR CANNABIS””

Also, hempseed oil, hemp food, hemp clothes, hempcrete brick, or CBD etc. must be stored at the retailer under lock and key, have a COA for unspecified “derivatives,” and can only be sold to a person over age 21 with government ID. The state will conduct stings. Records must be preserved for 3 years.
“Section 111925.1 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
111925.1. Industrial hemp food, beverage, cosmetics and dietary supplements may not be sold to any individual under the age of 21 years old.”
[…]
“Section 114084 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
(a)A final form industrial hemp product shall be displayed at a retailer separately from other products and out of reach of children.”

“Hemp extract” and “industrial hemp raw extract” are undefined (other than being “not for consumer use”), but still must be tested with maximum levels equal to marijuana flowers for smoking:
“(a) Industrial hemp raw extract shall be tested at a minimum for cannabinoids, pesticides, residual solvents and processing chemicals, microbials, heavy metals, foreign material, mycotoxins, terpenoids, moisture content and water activity.
(b) Action levels will initially be established at the same levels as for cannabis in Division 10 of the Business and Professions Code and as further defined by the Bureau of Cannabis Control regulations.”

“Industrial Hemp Product” is undefined, but likely includes all CBD products, but also hempseed oil, hemp foods, body care, shampoo, protein powder, tea, etc:
“(g) (1) “Industrial hemp product” means a finished product containing industrial hemp that meets all of the following conditions:
(A) Is a cosmetic, food, food additive, dietary supplement, or herb.
(B)(i) Is for human or animal consumption.”

“Final Form Product” could be literally anything, from a hemp shirt to CBD pills, hemp cookie to hempcrete brick, shelled hempseed to a sheet of hemp graphene:
“Chapter 9, Article 1 (commencing with Section 111920) is added to Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article 1. Definitions
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply which may be amended, deleted or added to by the department by regulation:
(a) “Established and approved industrial hemp program” means a program that meets all federal requirements regarding the lawful and safe cultivation of industrial hemp.
(b) “Final Form Product” is a product intended for consumer use to be sold at a retail premise.
(c) “Hemp Manufacturer” can mean either:
(1) a processor extracting cannabinoids from hemp biomass or
(2) a processor purchasing industrial hemp raw extract for the purpose of manufacturing a final form product.”

The use of the word “safe” in the above might be referring to FDA’s “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) process, wherein a food or food ingredient is considered an adulterant if it is not GRAS or an accepted “New Dietary Ingredient” (NDI).

Smokable hemp, CBD vape pens, hemp-containing beer, wine, or spirits, alcohol extracts of CBD, and alcohol-based tinctures are banned outright:
“Section 111925.3 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
111925.3. Prohibited Products. Unless explicitly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, industrial hemp is prohibited from inclusion in the following categories:
(a) medical devices
(b) over-the-counter and prescription drugs
(c) processed smokable products including but not limited to electronic cigarette with or without nicotine
(d) smokable flower included but not limited to hookah and shisha with or without nicotine
(e) Any product containing tobacco, nicotine or alcohol
(f) The department may determine other prohibited products that pose a risk to human or animal health, as specified through regulation.”

This likely kills off the CBD extraction industry in the state, since material in process has to be <0.3% THC:
“(h) “Manufacture” or “manufacturing” means the following:
(1) For purposes of this section, “manufacture” means to compound, blend, extract, infuse, or otherwise make or prepare an industrial hemp product.
(2) Includes all aspects of the extraction process, infusion process, and packaging and labeling processes, including processing, preparing, holding, and storing of industrial hemp products.
(3) Manufacturing also includes any processing, preparing, holding, or storing of components and ingredients.”

Infringes on interstate commerce explicitly protected in the 2018 Farm Bill, except “Raw Extract”:
“Section 111925.2 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
111925.2. Interstate Transportation.
Pursuant to authorization under federal law, final form industrial hemp products that are manufactured outside of this state are prohibited to be sold in this state and in-state manufacturers cannot export final form industrial hemp out of this state. Should federal law change to allow the import and export of industrial hemp products, this section would be amended to comply pursuant to section 110036.”

Same testing as for smoked marijuana is required for hemp products, including clothes:
“Section 111930.1 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
111930.1. Testing. The following testing standards which may be modified by the department through regulation shall apply:
(a) Testing standards shall initially be established as the same for cannabis as set forth in Division 10 of the Business and Professions Code and as further defined by the Bureau of Cannabis Control regulations:
(a) Industrial hemp raw extract shall be tested at a minimum for cannabinoids, pesticides, residual solvents and processing chemicals, microbials, heavy metals, foreign material, mycotoxins, terpenoids, moisture content and water activity.
(b) Action levels will initially be established at the same levels as for cannabis in Division 10 of the Business and Professions Code and as further defined by the Bureau of Cannabis Control regulations.”

Manufacturers and retailers must be licensed, and information on the unlicensed will be shared with law enforcement and the Bureau of Cannabis Control. This is the same policy as they have with the marijuana industry.
“Article 10. Agency Coordination
111934(a). The Department of Food and Agriculture and this department shall develop a process to share license, registration, and cultivar and enforcement information to facilitate compliance and enforcement against unlicensed industrial hemp product and raw extract manufacturers and retailers, and Bureau of Cannabis Control, if needed.”

Extended FDA’s ban on claims to where it has no jurisdiction, intRAstate sales:
“Section 110407 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
(a) A manufacturer, distributor, or seller of an industrial hemp product shall not include on the label of the product, or publish or disseminate in advertising or marketing, any health-related statement or that tends to create a misleading impression as to the health effects of consuming products containing industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp.
(b) For purposes of this section, “health-related statement” means a statement related to health, and includes a statement of a curative or therapeutic nature that, expressly or impliedly, suggests a relationship between the consumption of industrial hemp or industrial hemp products and health benefits or effects on health.”

Click here to download the AB 2028 document with proposed amendments.

END

2 thoughts on “California Trying to Kill Hemp? (Again)”

  1. Do you know what date the Assembly will be voting on these ammendments? And where? I imagine in Sacramento…

    1. Julieanne, they’re trying to ram it through in the waning days of this session. If unsuccessful, then next year. I’m reading AB 2028 (new number, or old one was a typo) now, it has all the crazy stuff in it still. Bans smokable hemp, vapes, includes fiber products in it, no retailer will want to carry any hemp product except dispensaries.

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