Hemp in the Headlines
As the hemp industry grows with exceptional speed and consistency, state legislatures continue to outline their plans to regulate this huge cash crop and provide companies and individuals with a safe and legal means of distributing product. While the majority of state legislatures will not conclude for the next couple of months, there is exciting news in key areas during this interim period. The following updates concern four states that currently have hemp in the headlines. Please follow the action map link below to access U.S. Hemp Roundtable’s public advocacy page and make your voice heard!
Texas Hemp Update
Hemp Roundtable has done extensive research on the implications of the 2018 Farm Bill as one of the nation’s leading advocacy groups. Last month they uncovered a statute in state law requiring a state’s classification of substances to reflect changes at the federal level. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services looked into the statute and agreed that hemp can longer be classified as a criminal substance. This is a huge win in Texas and a big step toward enacting a workable hemp program at the state level. There are currently several bills in the Texas legislature that address hemp specifically. The most comprehensive being TX HB1325 introduced by Texas House of Representatives member Tracy King. In the meantime, it is a great relief to know that the state of Texas is working with the industry to declassify hemp and align the state with federal law.
Idaho Hemp Update
Idaho has been in the headlines recently after they stopped a shipment of hemp from traveling from Oregon to Colorado. While the case is ongoing, legislatures are acting quickly to change the laws that allowed highway patrol to seize the shipment in the first place. A bill legalizing industrial hemp has passed the House this week and now awaits Senate confirmation. This bill is closely aligned with the 2018 Farm Bill and has received bipartisan support.
California Hemp Update
While the state of California is considered hemp friendly, there has been confusion by lawmakers in the past concerning the proper classification of hemp products. After the Department of Public Health suggested it might be illegal to sell as a retail item, California lawmakers acted quickly to address this false claim and have introduced Assembly Bill 228 that will allow the retail sale of CBD items. While this bill still has a long way to go, the committee has received overwhelming support.
West Virginia Hemp Update
Finally, the state of West Virginia lawmakers have passed HB 2694. This expands the current hemp pilot program in West Virginia making it fully compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill. This means, among other implications, that one need not have a license to use or distribute CBD. Stores may sell CBD and other hemp derivatives so long as they are grown within the legal parameters of industrial hemp, and hemp products may be legally transported across state lines.