On June 19, 2019, at 1:30 PST, the Washington State Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Section will be presenting an online CLE on hemp. I’ll be joined by my esteemed colleagues to shed some light on hemp laws both nationally and here in the Evergreen State. You can register to join us here.
We’ll cover a host of topics, but will start with the 2014 Farm Bill, which first allowed for the legal cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes. Under the 2014 Farm Bill, state departments of agriculture and universities could undertake agricultural pilot programs to permit the cultivation of hemp. Some states also license the processing of hemp. The hemp industry as we know it is the result of this piece of legislation.
For more on the 2014 Farm Bill, take a look at the following:
- The 2014 Farm Bill Expired: What Now for Industrial Hemp?
- Industrial Hemp: Don’t Forget About State Law!
- Five Key Documents Necessary to Understand Industrial Hemp Law
We’ll then turn to the 2018 Farm Bill, which does not immediately repeal the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2014 Farm Bill will remain in place for at least a year after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues regulations under the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill’s main focus when it comes to hemp is cultivation. It provides detailed guidelines for states to create their own plans to regulate the cultivation of hemp. It also allows the USDA to set federal standards for hemp cultivation to be used in states that do not have an approved plan but also have not prohibited hemp cultivation under state law. The 2018 Farm Bill also removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, clarifying that hemp is a regulated agricultural commodity, not a controlled substance like marijuana.
Here is some additional reading on the 2018 Farm Bill:
- USDA Says States Should Not Interfere With Hemp Transportation
- Will the 2018 Farm Bill Open the Door to CBD Trademarks?
- BREAKING NEWS: Farm Bill Signed, Industrial Hemp is Now Legal
At this point, we’ll talk about Washington State, where lawmakers have just overhauled the entire hemp program. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) oversaw hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill and will continue to do so under the 2018 Farm Bill. We’ll talk about how this new legislation allows for broader commercial activities and provide insights as to how the WSDA plans to regulate the industry going forward. We’ll also cover how Washington stands to fare in the hemp-derived CBD market under this new law.
For more on Washington hemp, check out the following:
- Washington’s New Cannabis Laws: The Definitive List
- Washington Cannabis: The Proposed Hemp Overhaul is Here
No hemp presentation would be complete without some talk about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates food, drugs, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and a whole host of other consumable goods. The FDA’s position with hemp and more specifically Hemp-CBD is. . . complicated. The FDA has said that Hemp-CBD can’t be added to food or dietary supplements and that it can only be marketed as a drug if investigated and approved as a new drug. The FDA has approved of Epidiolex, which contains CBD, for treating epilepsy. It has also determined that three hemp seed ingredients are generally regarded as safe for use in foods. Other than that, the FDA’s relationship with other CBD products has been hostile though it has not yet passed any final rules on the topic.
More on FDA is available here:
- Notes on the First Public Meeting on FDA and CBD
- USDA and FDA Shed Light on Hemp and CBD
- FDA Issues Warning Letters to CBD Manufacturers Making “Over-The-Line” Health Claims
- Topical CBD: The FDA Stance on Hemp Derived CBD In Cosmetics
- Are CBD Food and Drinks Really Not Legal? Really?
- FDA Enforcement Priorities for CBD Products: We Can Roll With That
- The FDA’s Stance on Hemp-Derived CBD as a Dietary Supplement (Part 1)
- The FDA’s Stance on Hemp-Derived CBD as a Dietary Supplement (Part 2)
- Are CBD-Infused Alcohol Beverages Legal?
We’ll wrap up our conversation by providing some tips on how to advise businesses in this complicated space. We’ll even touch on distributing Hemp-CBD products across state lines. Our program will be focused on attorneys, who can receive CLE credits for attending, but the information that we cover is applicable for anyone operating in this market.
For some examples, take a look at the following:
- Transporting Hemp Across State Lines is Still Risky
- Top Five Things Your CBD Business Needs to Consider
Speaking on behalf of the Cannabis Law Section’s executive board, I sincerely hope you can join us! Feel free to comment below with questions you would like addressed and we’ll do our best to answer them in our presentation.