CBD Legislation Continues Moving Through the States
Cannabis is continuing to garner legislative focus. As discussed in last month’s Insights article, legislation is continuing to move through various sectors of the federal government. Now, we are seeing ever-increasing state bills for edibles.
Following are four examples of state bills that have been enacted or are moving toward passage this year:
- In Kentucky, HB 325 establishes labeling requirements for cannabidiol products.
- Nevada has enacted SB 114 authorizing food that contains hemp to be sold or produced at certain food establishments under certain circumstances. Under the law, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services must develop hemp-containing food regulations that prohibit food from being deemed adulterated because it contains hemp.
- In Virginia, HB 1430 and SB 918 create an Industrial Hemp Fund declaring industrial hemp extract as food, subjects it to statutory requirements, establishes standards for the manufacture of the extract, and approves industrial hemp as a food additive.
- In California, Assembly Bill 45and Senate Bill 235 – which are identical and moving through the state’s legislature would legalize CBD edibles. As both bills would state, “a dietary supplement, food, beverage, cosmetic, or pet food is not adulterated by the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp if those substances meet specified requirements, and would prohibit restrictions on the sale of dietary supplements, food, beverages, cosmetics, or pet food that include industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp-based solely on the inclusion of those substances.”
What does this mean to the cannabis industry? Primarily, we would say, it is wise to stay updated and informed on the legislation of the state(s) in which you operate, and keep an eye on federal agencies as well. There is very little doubt that cannabis and edibles will become federally legal, and those laws may preempt state law, but that timeline will likely be much more protracted. Even then, there could continue to be some variation among states depending on the substance of the federal legislation, and until federal legislation is passed in some form, we will continue to have a patchwork of laws among the states.
However, regardless of state law, one aspect of federal legislation of which any business that manufactures (or is interested in manufacturing) edibles needs to be aware of is that once such legislation is passed, any food, drink, or dietary supplement that contains cannabis will be held to federal food safety regulations as well. For that reason, as well as for the overall safety of the products you produce, TAG recommends that any manufacturers not currently following the applicable rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) begin doing so now.
How? The first step is to conduct an in-depth assessment of your current food safety practices and compare them with the applicable aspects of FSMA. Are you in compliance? What is needed to come into compliance? Are you prepared to comply with the federal regulations as well as any continuing state health codes?
While food and beverage manufacturers have had a decade to prepare, understand, and comply with the seven major rules of FSMA, edibles producers will, in all likelihood, have a great deal less time to do so if federal laws are applied to the industry. So, following the food safety practices of FSMA, as well as those required by your state, not only helps to ensure you are prepared when the time comes, it can take you a long way toward preventing issues and recalls to help ensure the safety of your products and consumers.