California Legalizes Smokable Hemp And Food Sales In Historic Bill

Assembly Bill 45 is the long-awaited answer to hemp regulations in the state

Today California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 45, establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for the manufacture and sale of hemp-derived products in the state, including smokable hemp as well as hemp-infused food and drink sales. As an emergency statute, the bill goes into effect immediately.

While CBD products are freely found in stores, they are considered “adulterated” under existing California law, which is defined under the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law. What AB-45 will do is provide clarity for the hemp industry—more importantly, reassuring hemp consumers that products are independently tested and labeled properly.

EcoGen BioSciences, recently acquired by Kadenwood Brands, is the “largest supplier of raw hemp ingredients in the business,” and is heavily impacted by the new regulations. “AB-45 provides a model for hemp framework across the United States that we believe is necessary to move the industry forward,” Garrett Bain, President of EcoGen BioSciences told High Times. “As California takes the lead on clarifying the requirements for hemp to be included in food products and dietary supplements, we anticipate seeing other states adopt this model as well. These requirements that span labeling, serving size, testing regulations, and sourcing will allow hemp products to gain mainstream legitimacy and increased safety. Only through regulatory consistency will we see this industry grow to eliminate unlicensed and potentially harmful products from non-compliant manufacturers.”

Other leaders in hemp celebrated the bill as well. “California has been an industry leader in both cannabis and hemp throughout the years but not without its shortcomings and challenges,” Blake Schroeder, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc. told High Times. “As pioneers of California’s legal hemp industry, we have witnessed the many back and forth debates with respect to hemp and CBD, even after its Federal legality was outlined by the 2018 Farm Bill. We welcome the new focus on safety and consistency set by AB-45. Our company created many of the testing standards that most major players in the industry still use today. We hope that this bill helps weed out the companies that are selling fake or inaccurately labeled products.” Medical Marijuana, Inc. is a holding company with subsidiaries making a wide range of hemp-based products.

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