The California State Legislature Continues to Show its Incompetence When Dealing with Creating a Competent CBD Regulatory Framework: CA-AB 228

California Assembly Bill 228:

This bill was passed by the California Assembly in May of 2019 but not enacted into law .  If it had been passed into a law, foods containing CBD wouldn’t be considered “adulterated” and would not have to be labelled so.

In March 13, 2019, the bill was amended to say not only would food and beverages with CBD  be considered unadulterated, but it would also say that it would be fine that foods and beverages containing industrial hemp or Hemp CBD are safe for human and animal consumption.

If passed into law, the new law would have stated:

The sale of food or beverages that include hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp shall not be restricted or prohibited based solely on the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp.

(a) This division does not prohibit an entity licensed pursuant to its provisions from cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, or selling products that contain industrial hemp, as defined in Section 11018.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp.

(b) A product containing industrial hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in concentrations above 0.3 percent by product weight is subject to this division.

If passed into law, these changes enacted by 228 would have allowed CBD derived from Hemp into the licensing chain also know as the metrc track and trace system that makes sure all Cannabis in California is tracked as licensed from “seed to sale”. 

Therefore, if CA AB-228 had passed, CBD could have been part of this regulatory system along with marijuana and THC and therefore be legal to sell if the CBD in questions was in compliance with this metrc track system.

As stated, if passed it would move the “adulterated” label from products that contain CBD.

Require labeling of CBD and hemp products that are added to cosmetics, food, and beverages.

Food and beverage manufacturers would need to be registered and demonstrate that their sourced hemp meets all federal requirements.

Require raw hemp to be lab-analyzed and certified before being sold for product use.

The main opponents to the bill made this argument: “In addition to being a public health threat, this bill would have encouraged the recent phenomenon of CBD shops to open and continue to serve as loop- holes in current cannabis regulations. These CBD shops can compete unfairly with the regulated cannabis market by selling similar products without any of the tax revenue benefits to state and local jurisdictions. In addition to that, we have seen these CBD store act as fronts for illicit cannabis shops making it difficult for law enforcement to differentiate between products.”

“These changes would allow CBD derived from Hemp into the licensing chain from “seed to sale” also know as the metric track and trace system that makes sure all Cannabis in California is tracked as licensed from seed to sale.  If CA AB-228 had passed this would have been a possibility.”

The main opponents also said “The bill was held in discussion and time ran out for it to be voted on in the 2018 legislative session. We anticipate the author, Assembly member Aguiar-Curry, attempting its return in 2019 and welcome continued discussion with the Assembly member in hopes of finding a solution that would at minimum require equal safety testing requirements as cannabis CBD products.”

“We remain puzzled why the Assembly member refuses to do so, but hopeful she has learned from the recent vaping crisis which the Associated Press attributes in part due to the unregulated CBD market.”

As of this time, this bill has not passed.

I meticulously spelled out the opposition’s reasons for defeating the bill because their logic made absolutely no sense to me.  By defeating this bill, they are preventing CBD from legally entering the California state market alongside THC, when CBD clearly has less to no mind-altering affects known to be caused by THC, and there is very strong evidence that CBD has multiple therapeutic benefits.

By defeating this bill, they have left the legal status of CBD in a fog of uncertainty which will discourage well intended individuals from selling and providing a drug with many proven therapeutic benefits to the people that need it.  And in addition, they have made it very difficult for people that need CBD to have the regulatory enforcement in place that will insure they are buying the CBD they may really need and not some fake or dangerous product that may contain no CBD at all.  

This saga is just another example of our “Pro-Cannabis legislature” bowing down to special interest and endangering the health of the California public. The lack of interest in the welfare of the California public by our state legislature is astounding. 

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