Ever since the farm bill was passed, the CBD boom is being met with varying reactions, within different states.
Many CBD producers were simply waiting for the bill to pass in order to aggressively expand operations. New Frontier Data projects that the U.S. hemp market will triple in the next three years by 2022. The CBD sector is not only maturing but distancing itself from the THC sector. As such, CBD products are hitting the shelves in droves.
Wall Street continues to have a positive outlook regarding the CBD boom, while many states introduce legislation to relax restrictions on CBD. For example, in Iowa, state senator Brad Zaun introduced a bill to ensure more medical patients can obtain CBD. The bill adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of eligible medical conditions and gives medical professionals like nurse practitioners and physician assistants more discretion for prescribing CBD-based medical products.
Zaun proposed dropping the sales tax on CBD products as well as allowing home delivery to ensure CBD gets to Iowa’s many rural patients. Not everyone agrees with Zaun; the state’s Behavioral Health Association is concerned about the expanded list of medical conditions and the home delivery aspect, saying that those provisions could increase addiction.
The south is embracing CBD as well, despite the fact that many Alabamans are still concerned about the legality of CBD in their state. The owner of Auburn-based Your CBD Store, Pamala Connor, told The Auburn Plainsman that CBD is perfectly legal to buy and use in the state.
Connor is doing her part to educate consumers about CBD’s “healing without the high” properties and ensuring people that her products have no THC present. “The stereotype is that you’re getting marijuana,” Connor said. “It is legal in the state of Alabama to have 0.03 percent THC in a product, but ours are at zero to coincide with the standards for Lee County. If you’re drug tested with our CBD product, you will have a clean test.”
Connor is trying to educate consumers that CBD enhances the body’s natural healing process and can be used for many ailments like arthritis, inflammation, chronic pain, ADHD, stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and some skin conditions.
Connor said she is convinced because her husband, a Vietnam War veteran, has had amazing results with CBD for his insomnia and heart conditions. Connor herself was severely injured in a car accident and has used the CBD products to help with pain and inflammation and to quit her large Advil-bottle-a-month habit. Connor and her employees believe that with more education, people will realize that CBD is a good thing instead of a bad thing.
CBD flower is legal in Indiana, but it is still getting people in trouble with the police. State law has legalized CBD flower, but police are stating that it qualifies as marijuana. Police officials even held a February 15 press conference warning that anyone in possession of CBD could be in trouble with the law, despite Indiana’s legal limit of 0.3 percent THC in CBD products.
Greenfield Police Chief Jeff Rasche said that many CBD shops are selling products not within those limits and that unknowing citizens could still be arrested. The police say that CBD flower often shows a positive test result for marijuana, particularly with drug-detecting dogs used in the field. Indeed, CBD hemp flower is nearly identical to a marijuana flower except for the percentage of THC, which should be less than 0.3 percent. K-9 testing is particularly troubling because dogs cannot likely tell the difference between CBD hemp flower and cannabis flower.
For all these reasons, Indiana residents could get in trouble. CBD flower in the car could end up being a marijuana possession charge. Police have a hard time telling the difference and can arrest citizens for probable cause. Even if the charges are later dropped, Indiana residents must wait a year for the record to be expunged.
Oregon and Maine
State health authorities in Oregon and Maine share some of the same concerns as Indiana police, but for different reasons. Both states have ordered the removal of certain CBD edible products from store shelves, citing that CBD is not a federally-approved food additive. Businesses have been ordered to remove all capsules, edibles, and tinctures from store shelves because federal authorities do not recognize CBD as safe. The same is happening in New York City, as PotNetwork previously reported.
Maine authorities are still allowing businesses to sell CBD lotions and smoking or vaping products, and licensed medical marijuana patients can still by oral CBD. However, Maine’s state lawyers reviewed the farm bill, determining that CBD could not be added to mass-market food until Maine’s hemp program is federally approved.
Maine has a fast-growing hemp industry, and the state’s ruling was shocking to farmers and CBD retailers alike, many who have invested millions in business ventures. Residents are angry that although hemp was nationally legalized, Maine is taking a step backward to make it illegal, despite the fact that the experimental hemp program has prospered in the state for more than two years.
In one of the most rigorously monitored states, east Texas police in the town of Tyler have ordered businesses to remove CBD oil from shelves or else.
Police sent official demand letters, warning shop owners that they could be arrested if they continue sales. Texas police cite federal law that anything that is derived from a marijuana plant is not legal, yet many of the CBD products are derived from hemp. Texas law is even tougher than other states; CBD products cannot have any THC at all. Some shop owners are defiant, stating they plan to keep CBD on the shelf until police test it to see that it indeed is THC-free.