Category Archives: Hemp

Hemp Flower Bans Threaten Trade In Indiana And Texas

With the legalization of hemp on the federal degree with the passage of the 2018 Farm Invoice, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than a brand new business in keeping with the expanding acclaim for cannabidiol started to take root around the nation. However the expansion of that business is in danger in Indiana and Texas, the place bans on hemp flower threaten the livelihoods of farmers and small industry homeowners alike.

Beneath the Farm Invoice, states have been approved to enact regulatory plans governing hemp agriculture and trade. Lawmakers in some states, prodded by means of the regulation enforcement neighborhood, made up our minds to ban ownership and trade of smokable hemp flower. Police and prosecutors argued that the loss of a very simple technique to differentiate hemp flower from different varieties of hashish would make rules towards marijuana unenforceable.

Indiana Ban Now In Impact

In Indiana, a ban on smokable hemp flower integrated in its laws used to be challenged in courtroom, and in September 2019 a federal pass judgement on issued a initial injunction placing that a part of the state’s laws on dangle. However in July, the 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court docket of Appeals reversed the injunction. With that ruling, Indiana’s ban went into impact on Thursday, making ownership and supply of smokable hemp a misdemeanor offense.

“We’re happy that the appeals courtroom upheld Indiana’s felony prohibition at the manufacture and ownership of smokable hemp,” Indiana Legal professional Basic Curtis Hill stated in a free up after the courtroom’s choice. “The courtroom has rightly known Indiana’s authority to put in force this regulation.”

Justin Swanson, the president of the Midwest Hemp Council, filed the go well with towards the state on behalf of the business crew. He informed Prime Occasions in a phone interview that with the ban now in impact, many in Indiana’s nascent hemp business are caught with product this is now unlawful to promote.

“The 7th circuit [decision] used to be a blended bag for the plaintiffs,” he stated. “It did reaffirm the truth that the state doesn’t have the authority to intrude with interstate transportation of hemp and hemp merchandise, which is a win for out-of-state corporations and farmers transport via Indiana. But it surely does not anything to assist the farmers right here and the small companies in Indiana.”

Luke Meyers, the director of gross sales for Agrozen Existence Sciences and City Daze Hemp, a provider of agricultural items and products and services for the business, stated that he’s disenchanted by means of the verdict.

“It is vitally unhappy to peer a state this is recognized for its agriculture preventing so arduous towards a crop this is federally felony,” Meyers wrote in an e-mail. “On most sensible of that, by means of doing so, the state is announcing they’re k with no longer permitting one thing that might doubtlessly deliver 1000’s of jobs and alternatives to Indiana, at a time when all the nation wishes them essentially the most.”

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Ban Now In Pressure In Texas

In Texas, the state well being division issued a ban on smokable hemp that went into impact final week. Sam Alvez, the executive of the seventh Heaven Smoke Store in Killeen, Texas, informed native media that his clientele makes use of hemp flower therapeutically.

“Our consumers at all times let us know how a lot CBD adjustments their lives,” Alvez stated. “They sleep higher, their knees don’t harm — they’re taking medication away, that’s what they’re doing.”

With the ban, he added, a hefty portion of his earnings has been installed jeopardy.

“That is more likely to minimize our industry by means of 50% possibly — we’re having a look at a just right 50%. I individually don’t assume they know what they’re doing,” relating to Texas lawmakers. “They legalized it, however now they’re taking it again. I don’t take into account that a part of it.”

In Indiana, Swanson of the Midwest Hemp Council stated that he believes the legislature will have to trade the regulation that may most probably clog courts with hemp flower ownership circumstances. He additionally believes that the need is there. It simply must be acted on.

“I believe there’s a large number of urge for food to discover a repair for it as soon as and for all,” he stated. “This has been dragging out within the courts for over a 12 months and a part and in the long run, we wish to determine leaders within the statehouse who’re keen to stay up for farmers in Indiana.”

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The Winners of the Top Instances Hemp Cup 2020

The Top Instances Hemp Cup of 2020 introduced in combination competition from all divisions of the hemp area. Listed here are the goods that stood out and gained the judges’ hearts on this spin-off of the Hashish Cup:

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Flower

First Position: Hawaiian Haze Hemp CBD Flower via Gold Same old CBD
2nd Position: 0 G CBD Flower via Place of birth Hero
3rd Position: Bitter House Sweet CBD Flower via Thankful Beginnings Farm & OrganaCBD

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Concentrates

First Position: Luxurious Hemp Reside Resin Lot #LR001 via Magu’s Nectar
2nd Position: Otto II Reside Resin via Hemp Hop
3rd Position: GAS CBD Terpsolate via Alliance Hemp Co.

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Edibles: Meals

First Position: Night Assortment 135mg Truffle Set via Grön
2nd Position: 180mg Hemp CBD Chocolate Bar via Inexperienced Roads International
3rd Position: Style of the Island CBD Gummy Bears via Zilla’s

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Edibles: Non-Meals

First Position: 3000mg Magical Creme de Menthe CBD Tincture via Magical Butter
2nd Position: Vanilla Taste 1500mg CBD Day by day 50 Tincture via Myriam’s
3rd Position: Cannabidiol Drugs via Zilla’s

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Vape Pens and Cartridges

First Position: Apricot Evening Instances Vape via Drip CBD
2nd Position: White Hearth 200mg CBD Vape via Fuego CBD
3rd Position: Revive 500mg CBD Vape via ECO Remedy

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Pre-Rolls

First Position: Paradise OG Hemp Kief Joint via CBD Hemp Direct
2nd Position: Motorhead/ Sherbinskis Kush Hemp Pre-Roll via California Greatest
3rd Position: CBD Blunts via Place of birth Hero

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Topicals

First Position: 20mg CBD Lip Balm Collection via Windy Hill Hemp Co.
2nd Position: Lavender Tub Bomb via Hugs Wellness
3rd Position: Ubuntu 500mg Hemp CBD Rose Cream via Canvas 1839

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

The Winners of the High Times Hemp Cup 2020

Picture Credit score: Mark Kazinec

Puppy Merchandise

First Position: Herbal Rooster & 1st baron beaverbrook Flavored Hip & Joint Well being CBD Chews via Heelr
2nd Position: Peanut Butter Puppy Tincture via SunMed
3rd Position: 300mg Omega-Three Puppy Oil Pump via VESL Oils

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Officers Say Arizona Hemp Vegetation Trying out Certain for THC

Arizona hemp farmers is also feeling a little panicked after the state’s Division of Agriculture’s Plant Products and services Department revealed a file pointing out that 41 p.c of the hemp vegetation they examined had THC ranges that had been too excessive. 

“It’s a high-risk deal,” stated head farmer for Arizona Hemp Provide Co. Dustin Shill. “At this time, it’s only a shot at midnight in reality. It’s loopy.”

A Plant Products and services Department authority referred to as the numbers “now not sudden,” however they had been a decision for alarm for some hemp industry leaders. 

“At 40%, that’s off the charts,” stated Sully Sullivan, government director of the Hemp Trade Business Affiliation of Arizona in response to the state’s launched figures. “I’m bowled over through that. That’s considerable.”

Hemp farmers will have to check the THC limits on their merchandise prior to going to reap, and paying for such critiques is incessantly a hefty funds merchandise. If hemp assessments above the 0.three p.c criminal prohibit for THC, farmers don’t have any selection however to smash their crop. In a somewhat younger hemp business, that has took place incessantly. In November, one Southern California farmer noticed 10 million in their hashish vegetation seized after the sphere examined too excessive on THC ranges, inflicting a lack of about $1 billion in product.

Huge busts have additionally been made in puts like Idaho, the place state police seized some 6,701 kilos of meant hemp that examined too excessive for THC. 

However although the remainder of the rustic has noticed issues led to through too-loud hemp, numbers like the ones of Arizona are uncommon. The Related Press interviewed the founder and CEO of 1 hashish checking out lab who stated the state’s scorching and dry climate is also the offender for its vegetation’ unpredictable THC content material — particularly if farmers are the use of seeds from geographic spaces with other local weather issues. 

“Stressed out vegetation do loopy issues,” stated Ryan Treacy. 

Such diversifications in plant efficiency is also an excessive amount of for amateur hemp farmers, who’ve transform a usually happening phenomenon in a countrywide business that was once most effective legalized at first of ultimate yr. THC content material is in reality most effective one of the tough sides of cultivation that might hamstring much less skilled growers. Others come with various ranges of soil composition, solar, and water ranges. 

New licenses had been granted to farm hemp on a half-million acres of land in the USA, a 450 p.c building up from 2018. 

Nervousness over THC degree checking out has risen to new ranges not too long ago, as the government prepares to revise business laws. Some farmers have advised that the criminal prohibit for THC in hemp be raised to at least one p.c to create a bigger margin of error. The huge quantity of grievance generated through proposed adjustments led the USDA to increase the remark length for the legislation revisions through a month. 

The hemp and CBD markets are exploding within the post-legalization technology. A contemporary learn about forecasted that CBD gross sales additionally may achieve $20 billion through 2024. 80 p.c of approved US hemp farmers carry vegetation to be used in CBD merchandise. Prior to hemp agriculture was once regulated, the USA was once already the sector’s greatest importer of the plant.

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Low-Stage Hashish Convictions Plummet After Texas Legalizes Hemp

Seven months in the past, the Texas Space of Representatives and State Senate unanimously voted for hemp legalization. That call is having primary repercussions at the manner the state prosecutes marijuana ownership, principally as a result of regulation enforcement has very restricted assets relating to understanding the variation between marijuana and hemp.

The very month that Governor Greg Abbot signed hemp legalization invoice HB 1325 into impact, headaches was obvious. In Tarrant, Texas’ 3rd maximum populous county, the district legal professional in an instant pushed aside 235 marijuana circumstances. His team of workers had no manner of figuring out whether or not the people who were charged were sporting marijuana with over 0.three p.c THC, the state of Texas’ definitional restrict for hemp.

There was once no allowance in HB 1325 made for added crime lab investment. So after the hemp invoice, courtroom information displays that the selection of marijuana-related circumstances dropped sharply. Within the early months of 2019, regulation enforcement was once processing some 5,600 circumstances a month. After the passage of HB 1325, that quantity was once halved. In November, best 2,000 circumstances have been filed.

Now not everybody thinks that’s a nasty factor.

“It implies that there are fewer Texans which can be getting slapped with a felony report for marijuana ownership, one thing this is already felony in different states,” stated Rice College’s Baker Institute for Public Coverage drug coverage fellow Katharine Harris.

A Testy Topic

You’ll be able to’t work out THC proportion in hashish by way of eyeballing it. Texas police companies don’t lately have the era to habits important assessments, with the intention to prosecute folks for marijuana ownership, they will have to ship the drug that was once concerned within the arrest to a non-public lab.

Some towns have made up our minds prosecuting marijuana circumstances was once price the extra value. In North Texas, Frisco, and Plano — the place the town council earmarked particular budget for the method — government say that each one doable cannabis-related crimes persevered to be prosecuted, continuously involving a price of masses of bucks according to take a look at.

In different places in Texas jurisdictions not able to shoulder the monetary burden of such assessments, government have despatched hashish to be examined to the Division of Public Protection within the hopes that they’re going to be reviewed when the DPS’ new checking out procedures are set.

The brand new checking out procedures will have the ability to decide if seized marijuana flower — however now not vaporizer cartridges or edibles — clock in at over two p.c THC, a restrict that government recognize does now not fit the state’s cutoff between marijuana and hemp, however will nonetheless be helpful for regulation enforcement. The DPS says the brand new procedures will probably be introduced inside the subsequent month.

Some are involved in regards to the doable backlog of circumstances that may look forward to the eventual implementation of those new assessments.

“One resolution for prosecutors and regulation enforcement companies and the labs is: How do they triage those circumstances to concentrate on an important ones?” stated director of governmental members of the family for the Texas District and County Legal professionals Affiliation Sharon Edmonds.

The query turns out price addressing, as many recognize that marijuana legalization might nonetheless be years away within the state, the place some 38 p.c of citizens say they might be in choose of hanging leisure and medicinal hashish altogether.

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First HempWood Manufacturing facility Opening In Murray, Kentucky Thank you To A New Startup

A brand new hemp manufacturing facility has opened that may concentrate on generating a sustainably sourced wooden exchange. HempWood, operated via an organization referred to as Fibonacci LLC, is the brainchild of proprietor Greg Wilson and his enjoy operating with Chinese language bamboo era. His procedure purports to imitate the expansion set of rules of oak bushes to get a sturdy hemp product via blending it with a soybean-based glue for an enduring development subject matter.

For the instant, the manufacturing facility is occupied with production floor fabrics, however a consultant from the corporate says that at some point, the sky’s the prohibit on what they’ll be capable to make with the substance. 

HempWood determined to arrange store in Murray, a Kentucky the town that would be offering a partnership with Murray State College’s Hutson College of Agriculture. Wilson has informed the media that the college now not simplest helped to hyperlink him with within sight hemp farmers to verify a constant provide of uncooked fabrics, but in addition assisted within the utility for his processing license.

The college sees the ease in having a spouse within the state’s rising hemp business “from internships to long term jobs,” Murray State president Bob Jackson stated on the plant’s ribbon-cutting rite. “Educating and studying from an agricultural viewpoint, industry viewpoint, chemistry viewpoint, and I may just pass on and on.”

Corporate founder Greg Wilson has a background in fabrics science, and labored for almost a decade in China in sustainable subject matter factories. He says that once the 2014 US Farm Invoice made it criminal to make use of hemp for medical analysis, he constructed a house laboratory and began exploring the chances of hemp. He got here up with a procedure that creates a product 20 p.c denser than oak.

“Hemp is so much like strand-woven bamboo, apart from it’s much less coarse,” defined John Crye, who handles direct gross sales and advertising and marketing for HempWood. “Bamboo is more or less a coarse subject matter and it’s going to more or less chip, which makes it tougher to paintings with. Hemp is a lot more woody in order that offers it benefits over bamboo.”

Manufacturing facility within the Works for Months

HempWood introduced the brand new manufacturing facility in March, however formally kicked off operations on the finish of August, when the 11,230 sq. foot plant held a ribbon-cutting rite. The manufacturing facility these days employs 8 other people. Homeowners intend to double staffing via the top of the 12 months, as they extend amenities to provide extra hemp.

The corporate hopes to open 8 extra factories in the US, and are aiming for the second one facility to open via 2021. The Murray location price $5.eight million to build.

“We’re taking one thing that grows in six months and we’re in a position to duplicate, or out carry out, a tropical hardwood that grows in 200 years,” stated Wilson, who added that you’ll develop a hemp stalk to adulthood in six months, as in comparison to an oak tree’s 60 years of rising prior to it reaches maturation.

Certainly, the crew sees the challenge as a big step against prioritizing the surroundings in the midst of considerations over accelerating deforestation and local weather trade. “If a boat is sinking, what’s the very first thing you do?” Crye requested. “You patch the outlet. I feel an effective way to patch the outlet is to forestall chopping down as many bushes and HempWood is a approach to that.”

Kentucky is taking an energetic position in the USA’ burgeoning hemp business. The state, a one-time hemp manufacturing chief, is these days accepting programs for individuals who want to develop the product.

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Celebrate Independence Day With America’s Most Patriotic Plant

Our country owes a lot to cannabis sativa and its many varieties. From the stalks and seeds that produce fiber and food to the resinous trichomes that deliver THC, it’s truly an American treasure. Despite the 80-year Federal ban on cannabis, the plant is deeply rooted in our history and helped form the backbone of our nation.

As we celebrate Independence Day with tasty BBQ and good friends, let’s take a moment to appreciate the role cannabis has played in shaping the history and culture of America. And how it will continue to be a part of our quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Hemp Helped Build the Foundation for America

Hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa, and one of the oldest domesticated crops ever planted. The American history of hemp and its connection to our country’s birth starts back in the American colonies of the 1600s. Hemp produced so many essential products in the New World that legislation was drafted which required every farmer to grow it as part of their patriotic duty. Hemp was considered legal tender in the colonies, and could even be used to pay taxes!

Our founding fathers had a personal understanding of the power of hemp. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both frequently wrote about the glories of the crop and cultivated hemp on their private farms. Benjamin Franklin himself built the first hemp papermill to free colonists from depending on highly taxed British paper, moving us further towards becoming an independent nation.

Hemp Helped Us Win Our Independence

Hemp was there to lend a hand during the Revolutionary War. It was used to make sails, ropes, and hull caulking for our warships, and provided clothing and food to the soldiers and colonists. And while the final document declaring our independence from Great Britain was printed on parchment made of animal skin, the first two drafts were composed on hemp paper.

Even Old Glory has roots in the cannabis plant. The original American flag bearing 13 stars was hand sewn by Betsy Ross from fabric woven with hemp fibers. Because of its strength and durability, many of America’s early flags were sewn from hemp cloth. While most flags are made from nylon or polyester today, a hemp flag was flown over the Nation’s Capital on July 4th, 2013 for the first time in over 80 years.

Cannabis Helps Those Who Have Served Our Country

As American men and women are still sent off to fight for our freedom, many of the wounds they suffer are in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder. There is overwhelming evidence that medical cannabis can bring relief to veterans who are fighting mental health battles, and it has already helped thousands of veterans get back to living a healthy life. 

The American Legion, the largest veteran organization, is diligently working on getting medical cannabis approved for veterans across the country. What could be more patriotic than a plant that helps veterans?

The Battle Against Prohibition

Despite the fantastic history of hemp in America, cannabis in all forms became illegal in 1937. Prohibition was established on a campaign of misinformation — not what our founding fathers had in mind when they dreamed about the future of this country. 

Courtesy of The Herer Group

Fortunately, activists have worked diligently to change the laws and get us back to our cannabis roots. Many states have now passed legislation allowing citizens to access cannabis, and industrial hemp can once again legally flourish on our nation’s farmland.

One of those hard-working activists was the legendary Jack Herer. He made it his patriotic duty to spend his life fighting for our freedom to medicate with cannabis and to access industrial hemp. The Herer Group created The Original Jack HererTM to honor his life’s work and provide premium artisanal cannabis from family farms in California.

Erik Hecht, www.erikhecht.com, @weedlightmagic

The company works with activists and charities to continue Jack’s mission and was proud to recently take home two first-place wins for The Original Jack HererTM products.

Food, friends, fireworks, and premium cannabis. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate America’s birthday, can you? Take a moment today to appreciate everything the cannabis plant has done for our country, and look forward to a future where everyone has the freedom to access its benefits.

Happy 4th of July!

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Coca Cola Heir Caught with 5000 Cannabis Plants on Private Jet

Billionaire and Coca-Cola heir Alkiviades “Alki” David was arrested on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts last week after customs officials discovered 5,000 cannabis plants on his private jet. David and his friend Chase Ergen were taken into custody by officers with the Anti-Narcotics Unit at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport after the plants, seed, and CBD oil products were found. David was then released but arrested again on May 9 when he tried to leave the island nation.

The billionaire was charged with crimes including possession with intent to supply, possession of controlled drugs and importation of a controlled drug into St. Kitts. David was released on bail after paying a cash bail of approximately $30,000. He is due for a court appearance on May 14 and has been required to surrender his travel credentials and report to the Frigate Bay Police Station daily while awaiting the hearing.

David is a member of the Leventis family and heir to the Leventis-David Group, the majority owner of the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling plants in Europe. The resident of the Isle of Man has an estimated net worth of more than $3 billion, according to media reports.

A Billionaire CBD Advocate

David is a medicinal cannabis advocate and owner of the CBD oil company SwissX. David has denied the drug charges and claims that the plants carried aboard his aircraft are hemp and not illegal in St. Kitts.

“We’re going to go into the granular details of what cannabis genus it is,” David said at a press conference on Monday. “We didn’t even bring in cannabis, we brought in a cousin of cannabis that has been genetically modified.”

At the press conference, David blamed St. Kitts Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris for his arrest.

“This little dictator who thinks he can do this,” said David. “It’s illegal and it’s unconscionable. Mr. Harris here has a whole new thing coming at him.”

“I’ve never been to jail in my life, I’ve never had handcuffs put on me,” he added. “I was degraded, my friend is being degraded and we’ve done nothing wrong.”

Representatives for Harris declined to comment on the situation, according to media reports.

CBD Infused Coke?

SwissX might not be the only one of David’s companies interested in the benefits of CBD. In October of last year, media reports claimed that Coca-Cola was in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis to develop a CBD-infused beverage, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television. An unnamed source reported that the two companies were “pretty advanced down the path” of coming to an agreement.

Heather MacGregor, a spokesperson for Aurora Cannabis, declined to comment on a potential deal with Coca-Cola. However, she did confirm that the company is interested in pursuing opportunities in the CBD beverage market.

“As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented,” MacGregor said.

The following month, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincy denied the reports of a potential CBD beverage during a conference call with investors.

“We don’t have any plans at this stage,” Quincy said.

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Louisiana House Approves Hemp Legislation — But Does It Go Far Enough?

The Louisiana House unanimously passed a bill to make hemp cultivation legal on Wednesday — but advocates continue to point out that the legislation does not go far enough to provide clarity in the state’s legal system. Given recent law enforcement policing of CBD distributors, that’s a major issue.

“The idea is to grow and take advantage of a crop we have’t been growing since 1938,” said Representative Clay Schexnayder, who sponsored House Bill 491. The bill prohibits CBD-infused food and alcohol, though it does lay some regulatory groundwork for selling other CBD products.

The bill will now go to the Louisiana Senate.

HB 491 does not follow the heartening national trend of including measures in cannabis product legalization bills to account for past injustices served by cannabis prohibition. In fact, it exacerbates them — the legislation bans anyone with even a drug-related misdemeanor charge from within the last decade on their record from being employed in the new hemp industry. In another limitation, the bill does not allow residents to grow hemp for personal use.

Some also fear that the new bill will not do enough to clear up existing CBD laws. That’s an urgent issue for many Louisiana residents who have begun to sell CBD products. In April, Lafayette CBD store owner Travis DeYoung was arrested and threatened with felony and misdemeanor drug charges when product from the store was found in his car during a traffic stop.

DeYoung had previously told local publication the Daily Advertiser that he wanted his business to be something Lafayette could be proud of. “We’re the happiest city in the country,” he commented in an interview. “It’s a family-oriented town. It’s a great culture. People love mom and pop shops.”

This year, after the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill that made hemp cultivation federally legal, Louisiana agencies sent out memos stating that CBD products continued to be illegal in the state. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control are among the government organization that have either published communiques to the effect, or even begun to get tough with businesses that offer such items.

Those actions have caused some CBD suppliers to see a drop in business, as retail shops have gotten spooked by such government actions.

“We’re fine,” CBD company owner Heather Carter told Louisiana publication The Advocate. “We’re still moving forward, but that’s a brutal hit to a small company when 30% of your stores say, ‘We can’t sell this anymore.’” Carter’s business Mountain Pure makes CBD oils, lotions, lip balms, and capsules, and sells both online and through local shops.

Under the new legislation, Louisiana plans to submit the details of its hemp cultivation program to the U.S. Agriculture Department by November. Policymakers hope to kick off hemp agriculture programs early next year.

Around the country, CBD sales are exploding — last year, the U.S. saw $350 million in sales of products made with the cannabinoid. In Texas, where lawmakers are pondering the removal of hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, airport arrests over possession of CBD products has soared.
Last week, ire was raised when a 69 year old great grandmother was arrested at Orlando’s Disney World when authorities found the doctor-recommended CBD oil she had been carrying in her purse.

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Louisiana House Committee Advances Proposal to Legalize Hemp

Louisiana lawmakers have advanced a bill that would bring the state’s hemp laws better in line with new federal regulations. The bill, which would legalize the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp in Louisiana, advanced out of the House agriculture committee on Thursday. While passage of the bill would end the state’s ban on hemp and hemp products, lawmakers hope it will also spark economic opportunities for struggling farmers. Growing hemp privately and for personal use, however, would be strictly prohibited under the bill.

Hemp Legalization Bill Still Doesn’t Address Louisiana’s Confusing CBD Laws

In January of this year, the passage of the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, a.k.a. the Farm Bill, changed the Controlled Substances Act to no longer include hemp products with less than 0.3 percent THC. And while some states have already embraced the U.S.’s bourgeoning hemp industry, others still have laws on the books that treat hemp just like marijuana, i.e., with harsh criminal sentences.

Just this week, a Lafayette, Louisiana entrepreneur was arrested and is now behind bars facing multiple felony drug charges for selling cannabidiol (CBD). Travis DeYoung had just opened his Cajun Cannabis storefront and cafe on 4/20, when police raided the establishment days later, seizing large quantities of CBD oils, edibles and other products. DeYoung said the CBD in those products came from federally legal hemp, not marijuana. Louisiana regulators and law enforcement officials continue to warn the public about the illegality of CBD products and sales.

Proposed Hemp Industry Would Lock Out Those Most Impacted by Prohibition

Republican Rep. Clay Schexnayder’s House Bill 491 wouldn’t address the looming uncertainties surrounding cannabidiol. But it would set up a regulatory framework for a state hemp industry. Schexnayder said hemp production would give a boost to the agricultural sector in Louisiana, creating new jobs and growth opportunities.

But not jobs and growth opportunities for everyone. While many states are working (and struggling) to foster equity in the legal cannabis industry, Louisiana would bar anyone with prior convictions—including misdemeanors—from participating in its future hemp industry.

The bill says that anyone “convicted of a felony or a drug-related misdemeanor offense within the last 10 years” would be ineligible to receive a license to grow, process or even transport hemp.

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, states can develop hemp cultivation programs so long as they obtain approval from the U.S. Agriculture Department. The timeline of Rep. Schexnayder’s proposal would require the state to submit its regulatory plan to the USDA by November 1, 2019. If lawmakers can meet that deadline, Louisiana could start putting hemp seeds in the ground by 2020. And under the bill, those seeds would have to come from Europe or Africa.

Louisiana’s Agriculture Commissioner, Mike Strain, backs Rep. Schexnayder’s legislation. “The idea is to grow and take advantage of a crop we have’t been growing since 1938,” Strain said.

House Democrats also approve of the hemp legalization bill, but they want to be sure Louisiana does everything it can to encourage farmers to participate. “Everyone should have an equal opportunity to grow this,” said Democratic state Rep. Dustin Miller.

Everyone, that is, except individuals in their private residence or anyone with so much as a weed ticket on their record.

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Florida Farmers May Soon Be Allowed to Grow Hemp

A Florida legislative panel approved a bill on Monday that would legalize industrial agriculture and give farmers in the state a new crop for their operations. The measure, Senate Bill 1020 (SB1020), was approved by a unanimous vote of the Senate Agriculture Committee. If passed, SB1020 would authorize the Florida Department of Agriculture to develop a regulatory system for the farming of industrial hemp, which was legalized federally by Congress with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. A similar bill is scheduled to be considered by Florida’s House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Tuesday.

State Sen. Rob Bradley, the sponsor of the legislation, said that Florida should move quickly now that hemp has been legalized at the federal level.

“We want to be a leader in hemp, rather than a follower,” said Bradley.

Supporters of the bill say that hemp would give the state another cash crop and could provide farmers and timber companies in areas devastated by Hurricane Michael last year a new opportunity for economic development and recovery.

“The intent here is to get this emerging industry to be viable in the state of Florida and for us to be as cutting edge as possible while also respecting the guide rails … that the federal government has provided in this situation,” Bradley said. “We’re going to push it. We’re going to keep pushing it.”

Tight Regulations Included in Bill

Under the bill, individuals and firms would need authorization from the state to grow, process, and market hemp and hemp products, and would be subject to background checks every two years. Licensed premises would be subject to inspection from state agriculture officials and law enforcement. An industrial hemp advisory board would be created and a hemp seed certification program implemented. Sen. Doug Broxson, a member of the Agriculture Committee, said that he supported the regulatory framework created by the bill.

“I think we’re all in a kind of a new era in Florida, and we need to do it right,” Broxson said.

The bill would also authorize the agriculture department to create industrial hemp pilot programs at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and other interested universities. The goal of the pilot programs would be “to cultivate, process, test, research, create, and market safe and effective commercial applications for industrial hemp,” according to the amended text of the bill. Bradley said that the pilots would allow professionals to explore any “unforeseen issues” and “discuss the challenges and opportunities that are present” in the program.

Bradley took efforts to differentiate industrial hemp and the state’s medicinal cannabis program.

“These (proposed hemp regulations) are not meant to be onerous. This is not a reflection of the medical-marijuana system. That is a medicine, a controlled substance, and this is different,” Bradley said. “But it’s also not the same as growing apples or oranges, either, until we evolve this industry and get to a point where perhaps it will be that one day.”

After receiving approval from the Agriculture Committee, SB1020 will next be considered by the Senate Rules Committee. If the bill succeeds, the hemp program would be overseen by Nikki Fried, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fried has been a staunch supporter of Florida’s medical marijuana program, including last week’s repeal of a ban on smokable cannabis.

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