California’s cannabis industry looks to have another shakeup via a new bill in Sacramento that would open up the legal CBD market to cannabis companies operating compliantly in the adult-use space.
But there also are concerns that AB-1656 could prove a double-edged sword. Yes it would be excellent for California’s struggling cannabis industry to have another mechanism to create value, but would the merging of the supply chain create opportunities that make it easier to trick the consumer hoping to get full-spectrum cannabis? The kind that’s still a felony to grow federally, even if we haven’t seen as many doors kicked in locally in recent years as enforcement has focused on rural cultivation in the High Desert, Sierras, and Emerald Triangle.
The bill would clarify the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, the bill that merged Prop 64 and the state’s then-forthcoming medical marijuana regulations, does not prohibit a licensee from manufacturing, distributing, or selling products that contain industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp, if the product complies with all applicable state laws and regulations.
The bill’s State Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) has been a key figure in the development of CBD and Hemp policy in California. For three years, she sponsored AB-45. Signed by Governor Newsom in October, the bill created a lot of much-needed oversight for those dabbling in the hemp industry.
“This is an opportunity for California to make it easier for its people to access a non-intoxicating alternative product they want, and for farmers to establish themselves in a fast-growing industry,” Assembly member Aguiar-Curry said at the time. “As a farmer myself, I’m excited we can provide this opportunity for California farmers, manufacturers and retailers to benefit from a booming global market for food and topical CBD products. It’s a victory on so many levels, three years in the making.”
Published: January 24, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News