Europe THC Limit Might Be Increased to 0.3%

Big day for European hemp farmers and the CBD industry as the allowance of THC in industrial hemp was voted on by Parliament. While still low compared to countries like Switzerland, this Europe THC limit increase would certainly loosen things up.

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Hemp farmers in Europe have been pushing for change for quite some time. The .2% THC limit that was instituted many years ago has been making it difficult, and decreasing the amount of strains possible to use. Now, Parliament has voted to increase that maximum to .3%, included in the Common Agricultural Policy reform. But will it actually go through?

Where did .2% come from?

The first time a standard was set for a Europe THC limit in industrial hemp, was in 1984 when it was put at .5%. This was lowered in the 1970’s to .3%. At that time, .3% was the line that separated low-THC hemp (usually high-CBD flowers, but also high-CBG strains exist) and high-THC cannabis. In 1999 this dropped down again to the .2% that its been since, with the original aim being to prevent high-THC marijuana from being grown in low-THC industrial hemp fields. The proposal to increase the THC limit is not new, and has been pushed for quite some time.

cannabis in Europe

Before going any further, it should be pointed out that between the date in the 1970’s when THC limits were decreased to .3%, and 1999 when they were decreased further to .2%, Europe was functioning at .3% THC in hemp, and without any massive, adverse issues. It means that for at least 20 years of time, this standard was in place, which makes it almost silly that it would have to be argued for later, or that an argument against raising from .2% to .3% would be based on a fear of bad effects to people or business. If it didn’t happen in the 20+ years of recent history when it was the norm, how would it pass as a reputable argument now?

It also shines a light on this idea that we can’t learn from history or trust it at all. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years with plenty of evidence for how, when, and where. Yet it’s mainly treated like this history is meaningless, with paid-for research studies being the bottom line, when often they are not. This inability to learn from history is frustrating, and it becomes all the more obvious how much of an issue it is, when Europe makes arguments about not raising a THC limit to a level it had already functioned perfectly at for years.

It should also be noted that while this vote was made nearly a week ago, that no large publications have covered it all. In fact, the only publications to cover the news are hemp-related.

Why it matters

If a person didn’t know much about cannabis, they might expect that THC could simply be removed at whatever percentage is necessary. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works, and different strains of hemp have different amounts of THC. Not only that, CBD often goes up in proportion to THC, meaning that a lot of strains have been counted out since in order to get the level of CBD, it would mean accepting over .2% THC. While raising to .3% doesn’t make it all inclusive, it would make it so that more strains can be grown.

Is it a done deal?

cannabis regulation

Unfortunately, not. While its great that Parliament made the vote, the decision does not rely solely on Parliament. The policy for adopting and/or amending legislation in the EU is for three different bodies to approve, or come to some decision. The vote last week was not to pass legislation, but merely to establish the opinion of Parliament on the Common Agricultural Policy reform proposal.

In order for it to actually go into effect, there are two more bodies that have to approve: The Council of the European Union and the European Commission. The three bodies are slated to begin negotiations on the agricultural policy reforms come mid-November. This assuming that issues related to the Coronavirus don’t force postponements.

What are the reforms?

A broad-ranging agricultural policy includes all kinds of laws, however the only ones of concern here, are the ones related to growing hemp. The two amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy of note to cannabis-news followers are these:

  • Amendments 8 & 93 – to raise the current allowable THC amount in industrial hemp from .2% to .3%.
  • Amendment 234 – Allows hemp to be covered by marketing standards for the EU so that products can eventually be graded according to appearance, consistency, characteristics, and restrictions. This includes labeling, packaging, production methods, etc.
hemp extract products


The CBD industry has boomed exponentially in the last few years. In January of 2019, the EU amended its Novel Food Catalogue to include extracts of cannabis sativa L. like CBD. Being added to this category means that cannabis extracts are considered to have no demonstrable history of consumption. Looking at history, we know this isn’t actually true at all, but once again, history was ignored in favor of regulation tactics. Though the Novel Food regulation isn’t binding, most countries seem to go by it as a rule, and it could very well be that Europe pressures them to do so (though this is only supposition). Before any product can be placed on the market, it requires a safety assessment under Novel Food regulation (which again, isn’t actually binding).

Prior to 2019, extracts of cannabis in which CBD had higher levels than in the actual plant were considered novel, but nothing else. Cannabis sativa L. could be grown at that time so long as the specific strain was registered in the EU “Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species”, and with a THC level not above .2%. Essentially, adding cannabis extracts to the Novel Food list made it that much more restrictive to sell CBD products. Though this new update to the Common Agricultural Policy wouldn’t exclude hemp from Novel Food regulation (which is about to be updated again), it would at least ease some of the restrictions that are put on it, and the products that can come out of it. When an industry is so restrictive on so many fronts, any amount of loosening of the rules allows for more general freedom.

The European Industrial Hemp Association is viewing the parliamentary vote as a success, and in a way it is, but it’s not the end of the story. These updates do not have to be approved, or used, if the two other governing bodies decide they’re out of line. In this way, this vote is really just a stepping stone in a much longer process, for which it’s still impossible to know the ending.


It’s hard to tell which way legislation will go. Europe tends to lean more towards loosening restrictions than other locations, but at the same time, goes back on itself constantly. Simply adding cannabis extracts to the Novel Food category was a step backwards, made only 1.5 years ago. It might be hard to imagine Europe not taking up the agricultural recommendations, but nothing says it has to either. So while the European Industrial Hemp Association rejoices, it might be a bit soon. When it comes to cannabis regulation, things don’t tend to make sense…nearly anywhere. So expecting a straight line to legalization, is expecting way too much. Maybe the Europe THC limit really will be raised. And maybe it won’t be. But it’s just too soon to say.

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The New Italian Cannabis Contradiction

When it comes to cannabis, there are a lot of questions about what is legal in different countries. What parts of the plant can be used, and for what purposes… Recently, Italy put out two separate decrees related to cannabis, which set up the Italian cannabis contradiction.

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Italian cannabis

Italy is an example of a country with a veritable patchwork of cannabis laws. Using cannabis isn’t illegal, for example, but possessing it and selling it is. (This is one of my favorite discrepancies in cannabis law, and it happens all over the place). In Italy punishments for first time offenders are generally light, and repeat offenders generally only incur administrative penalties (like the loss of a driver’s license, or something of that nature).

As per the usual, sale and supply crimes are illegal. Offenders caught selling can incur up to six years in prison – a much lighter sentence than offenders caught selling harder drugs like heroin, where the penalty can be up to 20 years in prison. Hemp cultivation is legal in Italy. A clarification was made in December 2019 by Italy’s Court of Cassation to Italy’s Consolidated Law, which specifies that personal hemp cultivation is, in fact, not illegal. The specification states that cultivating small amounts of narcotic drugs is decriminalized.

What about CBD?

CBD oil

To make things a bit tricky, CBD was recently classified as a narcotic in Italy. This despite the fact that many countries, including the EU in general (and this is important), have moved toward much more lenient laws concerning CBD. CBD – or cannabidiol – is one of the more prevalent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but unlike its counterpart THC, doesn’t produce a psychoactive effect, making it a much more accepted medicine in many places that still hold high-THC cannabis as illegal.

Not so with Italy. The Ministry of Health in Italy recently made a decree that added CBD to Italy’s list of medicines. Subsequent to the decree being made, Italy’s Customs and Monopoly Agency started warning retailers not to have or sell products that contain anything derived from cannabis sativa, even if from hemp.

This is only half the story though, because Italy recently enacted two separate decrees that are in conflict with each other. The first (as mentioned) makes hemp extracts narcotics, requiring an authorization from the Italian Medicines Agency to produce. The second, coming from the Agriculture Ministry, now lists hemp flower extractions, as an agricultural product instead of an actual drug. If you’re following along, this would include CBD. And if you’re really following along, it means not only is Italy now in contradiction to EU standards, but its in contradiction to itself.

The other decree

It should be remembered that governments are made up of different bodies, and if not working in concert, those different bodies can sometimes enact legal mandates that are in opposition to each other. So is the case right now. The other decree recently enacted in Italy was done by the Agriculture Ministry, and this decree states that extractions from hemp flowers are agricultural products for medicinal use (but not actually medicines). This, of course, opens up Italy’s market for possibly hundreds, or even thousands, of new products based on hemp extractions.

The decree was approved by Minister of Agriculture Teresa Bellanova, and listed back in August. In the listing, hemp flower is ‘canapa infiorescenza’, and its official place is on the table of agricultural products, under ‘medicinal plants’.

Italian cannabis laws: why the discrepancy?

italian cannabis

This is no small discrepancy. One decree states that CBD and other hemp derived extracts, are narcotics that requires special permissions. And one decree says that any extraction from hemp flowers can be considered an agricultural product and sold on store shelves without a problem. And that includes CBD.

What makes the Italian cannabis contradiction that much more interesting is that there seems to be a reason for the decree from the Medicines Agency that makes CBD a narcotic, and if you haven’t guessed it yet, it has to do with putting money in corporate pockets. Enter Epidiolex!

Epidiolex is a CBD-based drug produced by UK corporate enterprise GW Pharmaceuticals. GW Pharmaceuticals just requested the ability to put its product on Italian shelves, as it rolls it out to a number of countries including France, Germany, and Spain. Making CBD a narcotic limits other products from being able to be sold, especially if they require authorization from the Italian Medicines Agency, which seems to be working in concert with GW Pharmaceuticals (this isn’t a statement so much as personal supposition).

Epidiolex is actually the first cannabis-derived drug to be approved in the US by the FDA, a position that made it headlines back in 2018. While its not my job to make assumptions about political leanings toward pharmaceutical ventures over smaller independent companies, it sure looks like there are political leanings toward pharmaceutical enterprises over smaller independent companies.

Unanswered questions

The decree by the Medicines Agency, which makes CBD a narcotic, specifically relates to extractions of hemp flowers, but not other uses of hemp flowers. So, legally, it doesn’t have an effect on smokable hemp flowers according to the Customs and Monopoly’s cease and desist order. Smokable hemp flowers are actually very popular in Italy. If CBD is really considered so bad, then it stands to reason that smokable hemp flowers would also be illegalized. Rather, it shows cracks in Italy’s logic – and preferential treatment toward pharmaceutical companies, that the products made illegal, are the ones most in competition with Epidiolex. Italy would probably have a losing battle if it tried to illegalize smokable hemp flowers now, but it creates a second Italian cannabis contradiction by making CBD a narcotic in extracts only.

italian cannabis explained

When did it all happen?

Now we know there are two Italian cannabis decrees that are in opposition to each other, but when did they come about? The first decree to be enacted is the one by the Agriculture Ministry that was put into effect in August of 2020 when hemp flower extracts were added to the table of agricultural products. The second decree is the one made by the Italian Medicines Agency which makes extracts of hemp flowers narcotics, and it was put into effect October 15th 2020. There was somewhere in the neighborhood of two months in between. That means two months of the Agriculture Ministry’s decree making hemp flower extractions agricultural products before the Medicines Agency came in with its own decree working in the opposite direction.


When medicinal marijuana was first legalized in California, there were clashes between legal patients and the feds, since cannabis was still (and is still) federally illegal. The opposition between states rights and federal law caused havoc until President Obama made the decision to stop cracking down on people legally using in legal states, even if federal law didn’t cover it. This came years after he entered office, much of which time he spent cracking down on medicinal patients.

Right now, there is a similar case of France vs the EU which will have implications in Italy now as well. France is currently fighting to uphold its ability to set its own laws in terms of legal amounts of THC in CBD oil, and the ability to keep products out of the country that don’t meet France’s standards. EU law stipulates its fine so long as the THC amount doesn’t go above .2%, and that one EU country can’t limit imports from another EU country if EU standards are met. France prefers 0% THC, which makes an essential ban since all CBD oil will have at least trace amounts of THC, and therefore limits the ability for imports from other EU countries. Just like in the US, it’s a member state vs a federal body.

If France wins, Italy can restrict CBD however it wants. If the EU wins, Italy will have to go by EU law, or its citizens can bring litigation against their government. Right now the people of Italy are being told two very different things. On one hand they’re being told that its perfectly cool to freely buy and sell products with hemp flower extracts. On the other hand they’re threatened with narcotic law punishments for doing the exact same things.


Cannabis laws are confusing, and contradictory, and often effected by political and economic issues that further confound what was already unclear. Italy is just the next example. Right now the two decrees create an Italian cannabis contradiction, and how that will be sorted in the weeks and months to come, is nearly impossible to predict.

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A Quick Guide to Cannabis Patents: What You Need to Know

Amid the quick expansion of the legal cannabis market, many cannabis growers and business owners are pushing to secure intellectual property rights for the strains and products they’ve created.

Cannabis patents currently exist in a still-clouded regulatory atmosphere thanks to federal prohibition, but it’s still possible to receive one — and the cannabis industry is certainly rising to the challenge to secure their own rights to continue cultivating strains that have long been part of the genetic and intellectual commons.

In the midst of this push for protecting cannabis intellectual property, there has been a rash of court cases and developments that have changed the foundation of cannabis patents in America. So what does it mean for the average cannabis consumer, who perhaps has heard to be wary of the day a patent-wielding Monsanto enters the cannabis industry?

Here is a basic guide to what you need to know about cannabis patents.

What Is a Cannabis Patent?

In the United States, there are three kinds of patents: utility patents, for a process or application of particular products; design patents, generally for industrial products; and plant patents, for new varieties of plants.

Each of these types of patents could apply to cannabis products. For example, in 2017, a Nevada-based firm with the slightly presumptuous name Cannabis Sativa Inc did win a plant patent for a strain called Ecuadorian Sativa. The firm boasted of its high content of the terpene limonene, and its possible curative capacities for various ailments — not of THC. The company was later able to procure a utility patent for a cannabis lozenge.

This one of the few cannabis patents that have been granted in the U.S. According to Forbes, the U.S. Patent Office has been issuing cannabis patents since 1942, despite the fact that the plant is a Schedule I drug. Over the years, about 1,500 cannabis patents have been filed, and there were about 500 active cannabis patents, as of 2017.

One bizarre contradiction of federal policy is illustrated by the fact that in 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services itself secured a patent — number 6630507 — for the use of cannabinoids (not including THC) as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Yet just three years later, an FDA memorandum reiterated the official position that cannabis has “no medical value.”

Why Are People Particularly Scared of Utility Patents?

A utility patent protects the way that something is used and how it works. Consider the utility patent for a cannabis lozenge: it’s a patent on the idea that cannabis can be consumed in lozenge form to address a specific problem.

That makes utility patents particularly broad, and therefore could be used to step on more cannabis companies’ toes.

For example, “you can’t say you’ve done all the work necessary to establish use of cannabis for headaches,” Jerry Whiting of Seattle-based LeBlanc CNE, which develops and markets CBD products, told Cannabis Now. “That’s not worthy of government protection. These patents are unenforceable in most cases, but nobody can afford the lawyers to go after them.”

What About the Process for Getting a Cannabis Trademark?

It’s confusing: Getting a cannabis patent with the federal government is possible, but a cannabis trademark is not. A trademark is a form of intellectual property protection over a name, word, logo, symbol or design associated with a product or company.

Currently, there is no process for trademarking a product that contains significant quantities of THC, and the federal government is only now moving to establish such a process for CBD products.

In a case that exemplifies the persisting dilemmas, a federal court in California ruled last month that cannabis edibles cannot be trademarked due to federal prohibition.

As Food & Beverage Litigation Update reports, the San Francisco-based court for California’s Northern District rejected a trademark infringement claim in Kiva Health Brands LLC v. Kiva Brands Inc. In the litigation, Kiva Brands Inc (KBI) and Kiva Health Brands (KHB) disputed rights to the “Kiva” trademark. KBI asserted that they owned the name, given that they had been selling cannabis-infused edibles under the name in California since 2010. But the court said no dice.

In 2010, the federal government did entertain the idea of allowing trademarks for medical marijuana products. Hopes had been raised by the government’s creation in April 2010 of a new trademark category: “Processed plant matter for medicinal purposes, namely medical marijuana.”

Applications for trademarks were quickly filed. 

“It looked like a positive step to me. We don’t have many steps by the federal government legitimizing medical cannabis,” Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Oakland’s flagship dispensary, Harborside, told the Wall Street Journal. But that July, the USTPO did an about-face and nixed the plans.

What About Hemp Patents?

In September, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded “what appears to be the first patent for a hemp strain” to Denver-based Charlotte’s Web Holdings. Charlotte’s Web obtained U.S. Plant Patent No. PP30,639, listing CEO Joel Stanley as an inventor of the “new and distinct hemp cultivar designated as ‘CW2A.’”

The federal bureaucracy is starting to catch up with the law following passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The USPTO in May issued guidelines for trademarks on CBD products, while the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) is preparing to recognize intellectual property in hemp varieties. 

At the international level, hemp strains are already being registered with the Geneva-based International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).

Why Are Cannabis Patents So Controversial?

Starting with the failed California legalization bid Proposition 19 in 2010, we’ve seen the strange phenomenon of “Stoners Against Legalization” — cannabis users and growers who viewed the initiative (and the successful Proposition 64 six years later) would allow big corporations to corner the cannabis market and squeeze out independent growers via access to finances and patents. 

These fears were fueled by rumors in 2010 that the Drug Enforcement Administration was granting big corporations licenses to grow cannabis for research. The concern was that these companies could develop novel applications for cannabis, receive a broad patent, and then go after smaller cannabis growers for infringing on their patent, wielding the patent like a legal bludgeon. This is a strategy made famous by Monsanto, which uses its corn and soy patents to push out small farmers growing those crops.

Why Is “Prior Art” So Important?

The federal government will only grant a patent to someone if it believes the product or idea in question is a “novel invention,” and that means no one has come up with it before.

“Prior art” is anything that proves a patent was not a novel idea. For example, if Person A gets a plant patent for a cannabis strain they claimed was unique, but Person B can prove they grew that strain in 2014, the patent could be held invalid.

Breeders and growers are still wrestling with how to assert their traditional rights in the increasingly corporate-dominated cannabis environment, and especially because many illicit market growers were understandably avoiding keeping a paper trail. In the cannabis space, many people have advocated for using strain databases to build potential “prior art” defenses.

What Do “Open Source” Cannabis Projects Mean for Cannabis Intellectual Property?

For those people who don’t want to claim ownership over cannabis — and want to keep cannabis open to the public, open source projects have been useful.

For example, the Oregon non-profit Open Cannabis Project sought for years to protect the cannabis genome from corporate privatization by gathering cannabis data to keep in the public domain. (However, Open Cannabis Project has been suspended due to funding challenges following a controversy concerning the supposed proprietary ambitions of its for-profit partner, Portland-based Phylos Bioscience. Phylos encouraged cannabis growers to use its strain genotyping services and database to establish prior art.)

“Nobody has the right to patent the Garden of Eden,” says Whiting. “No one owns nature. The rest is just courtroom bullsh*t.”

Whiting has drawn up what he calls an “open-source alternative licensing schema” under the title “Cannabis Breeders Rights.” It lists different categories, such as “grow & harvest” only or “cloning allowed.” 

His proposed framework is also designed to protect the rights of small growers who do not have access to economies of scale.

Whiting’s “end-user license agreement” would establish the prior art of a particular cannabis strain.

“My wishes going forward are that these strains are never to be owned by anyone,” he says. “As long as it’s being used by seed-savers in backyards, it’s free.”  

This system is based on terms agreed to by vendor and purchaser, rather than patents.

Whiting’s alternative licensing proposal is partly inspired by “Berkeley Standard Distribution,” the norm adopted by computer engineers in the ’90s that established UNIX-based operating systems as open-source. “A lot of the software that runs the world today is not under commercial license,” he says.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Virginia’s limited medical marijuana program launches (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Missouri launches medical marijuana sales; market could hit $650 million a year (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Portland City Council votes to grant licenses to most marijuana store applicants (Portland Press Herald)

These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical and adult use marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 350,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to to learn more about this very cool company!

// New York Will Legalize Marijuana By April And Regulate CBD-Infused Drinks, Governor’s Advisor Says (Marijuana Moment)

// DEA Attempts To Block New Cannabis Product After It Draws Similarities To Marijuana (WFSU Public Media)

// Vertosa Partners with Pabst Labs to Debut Pabst Blue Ribbon Cannabis-Infused Seltzer (Cannabis Business Times)

// Alberta lifting retail cannabis store cap in November (Marijuana Business Daily)

// USDA Approves Hemp Plans For Six Additional States And Three Indian Tribes (Marijuana Moment)

// Cannabis company Acreage repays 60%-interest loan (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Another New Jersey Poll Shows Marijuana Legalization Passing By A Huge Margin (Marijuana Moment)

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10 Interesting Facts About the History of Hemp

If you’re looking to grow your knowledge about hemp, take a look at some of these facts and spread them far and wide

1. Hemp cultivation dates back more than 10,000 years

Many civilizations throughout time have grown hemp and utilized the plant for a number of items from food to fiber. The ancient use of hemp has been traced to many countries including China, Egypt, Russia, Greece and Italy.

2. It used to be illegal to not grow hemp

There was once a time in American history when farmers could actually be fined or jailed for not growing hemp. Because it was such a valuable crop in Virginia, the Assembly of Jamestown Colony passed legislation in 1619 making it mandatory for every farmer to grow Indian hempseed.

3. Hemp was hailed as a billion dollar crop before the government banned it

In an article written in 1938, “Popular Mechanics” declared hemp a new cash crop. It was touted as the standard fiber of the world that was easy to grow and poised to replace imported materials and manufactured products.

4. Hemp can restore unhealthy soil

Thanks to its botanical properties, hemp can actually leave soil better off than when it started by rejuvenating the dirt with nutrients and nitrogen. This helps clean up toxins, heavy metals and other pollutants from the ground through a process called phytoremediation.

5. Hemp oil is good for you

For people looking to reduce bad cholesterol levels, neutralize free radicals and improve nervous system function, the abundance of nutrients found in hemp oil can help. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and carotene. When it comes to oils, hemp oil also has the highest level of polyunsaturated fats (healthy fats) at 80 percent, with flax seed oil coming in second.

6. Many early artists made art on hemp

The word “canvas” is derived from the word cannapaceus, a latin adjective that literally means “made from hemp.” For centuries, painters used hemp canvases from the Renaissance artists to 17th century masters like Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

7. Twenty one states can legally grow hemp

According to agricultural reports, hemp can be grown legally in California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

8. Planes can be made from hemp

Earlier this year, Derek Kesek, the founder of Hempearth, announced that he would produce the very first airplane made almost entirely of hemp that will run on hemp-based biodiesel. Though the project has yet to take flight, many have high hopes about what its successful execution could mean for the future.

9. The United States Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper

The majority of paper in the late 1700s was made from a combination of hemp and flax as well as the occasional use of a verity of recycled cloth fibers. The final document which is housed in the National Archives was treated as any other important historical document at the time and indeed even to day would be. After the final product was approved (which happened to be on hemp paper) it was then transferred to a fine Vellum parchment made of sheepskin which was the practice for any significant document for well over a millennium.

10. Hemp is used in over 25,000 products

Although it may seem like hemp has been hiding out, the multifaceted fiber is actually used in everything from suits by Giorgio Armani to interior car parts by BMW. Hemp can also be found in everyday items like yarn, paper, carpeting, cosmetics, nutritional supplements and body care products.

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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Additional Information On California’s CBD Ruling

The US Hemp Roundtable, the hemp industry’s leading national advocacy organization, is profoundly disappointed that the California Senate leadership refused to allow a vote on AB 2028 (Aguiar-Curry, Wicks and Wilk), which would have legalized the use of hemp CBD in all products, to advance before the end of the 2019-20 legislative session.

As a result, California will not benefit from tens of millions of new tax dollars or thousands of new jobs that AB 2028 would have delivered. California continues to lag behind 21 other states, including Florida, Texas, Virginia and Ohio, that have already enacted hemp CBD laws and are drawing business away from California.

AB 2028 represented the product of intense negotiations between the Roundtable, its allies in the California hemp farming and business industries, and Governor Gavin Newsom, an effort that legislative leaders had urged proponents to undertake. The measure received broad bipartisan support as evidenced by its passage in an earlier bill with unanimous votes by the Assembly, as well as the Senate Health and Business and Professions Committees.

“We have been told by staff to Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins that there simply was not enough time to consider the amendments to the bill in the waning days of session,” said Jonathan Miller, the Roundtable’s general counsel. “Assuming that is the case, we are optimistic that a reintroduction of AB 2028 at the earliest possible date, with any necessary technical fixes, will ultimately be supported by both houses of the Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom.”

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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the California economy is profoundly distressed. Tax revenues have been hard hit, jobs have disappeared and the ability of the state to rebuild itself in a timely fashion is uncertain. The hemp industry, especially its hemp CBD market, represents a major source of new state and local revenues that can be realized quickly.

National market analyses (Brightfield Group and Fortune Business Insights, among others) project that the hemp CBD food and beverage industry alone will generate more than $2 billion annually by 2023. If enacted, AB 2028 would have pegged California’s share of that market at approximately $300 million in the first full year of operation.

AB 2028 would have achieved several critical milestones:

  • Allow hemp CBD to be used in food, beverages and dietary supplements, as well as cosmetics and other topicals.
  • Ensure consumer safety, including label standards that provide essential information to consumers.
  • Require CBD consumer product testing that mirrors comprehensive testing requirements for cannabis.
  • Apply existing requirements of the Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act to all hemp CBD consumer products.

Miller added, “We are grateful to the bill’s authors for their unwavering leadership on this important issue and to the Governor for working with us to craft an effective path forward for an industry that has been nothing less than meteoric in other parts of the country. We are confident that California policymakers will embrace this policy before the hemp farming and the CBD industry become nothing more than an afterthought in the California economy.”

Full Interview with Hemp Roundtable Member Jonathan Miller

When will the legislative session reopen to continue this?

The Legislature reconvenes for an organizing session in December. A bill could be introduced on that day but they recess again until January 4; no action could be taken until after that date. There is speculation about the Governor calling a special session in the fall; the governor has said he is open to it. However, it is very uncertain that he will do so. If he does call a special session, a bill could be introduced as long as it was consistent with the purpose of the special session/.

Will there be any additional changes to the bill you would like to add in that time?

There may be some fine-tuning and technical clean up that we can seek to accomplish. We are open to discussing other changes, although we are realistic about the interest of the Administration in terms of further substantive changes.

There’s already a large market for these products, if California doesn’t step up and enact appropriate legislation, will it drive CBD products to the black market also? Causing the same problems they’ve had with marijuana all these years?

There is no larger prospective market than California, especially for CBD food and beverage. The promise of the CBD market nationally is only fulfilled if California is part of that market. We don’t anticipate a black market like the one that continues to exist for marijuana for two primary reasons: 1) there was a robust black and grey market for marijuana for years before it became fully legal; there has never been one for hemp CBD, and 2) unlike marijuana that was largely a smokable product on the black market, hemp CBD is mostly a manufactured product like food and beverage, which is harder to create in a black market. Even if a bill is not enacted, there will still be topical hemp CBD products legal to be manufactured and sold in California.

If the language in the bill doesn’t change, what exactly does that mean for CBD business owners?

Business owners who are currently based and operating in California will continue to be at risk of enforcement actions by the state and counties. They will be faced with an existential question as to their continued viability in California and may relocate their business, its tax generation and its jobs to another state. Businesses that are based out of California and have a presence in California or are interested in expanding to California may choose to pull out of California, shrink their presence in California or refocus their energies on one of the 21 states that have legalized hemp CBD.

Thanks for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things medical cannabis. Stop by regularly and make sure to subscribe to the Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter to keep up-to-date on all the most interesting industry topics.


Synthetic Cannabinoids (Are they synthetic cannabinoids safe?)
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Your Complete Guide to EU GMP-Certified CBD Isolate and Distillate – Spotlight on the regulated EU market

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What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
The Legal Landscape Of CBD Hemp Flower In Europe

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc)Regulators Go After Smokable Hemp Flower – What Does The Future Hold?
The Complex Issue of Marijuana and Hemp Business and Legalization On Tribal Land
Government Assistance Options for U.S. Hemp Farmers Affected By COVID-19

The post Additional Information On California’s CBD Ruling appeared first on CBD Testers.

Delta-8 THC Contaminated Products, or Just Bad Press?

News stories are popping up all over the interweb about Delta-8 THC contaminated products. Where did this info come from, and how valid is this story?

What is delta-8 THC?

Most people are familiar with Delta-9 THC, the standard THC associated with marijuana and the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Delta-9 THC is the most prevalent cannabinoid found in marijuana, and is generally sourced from high-THC cannabis plants. Delta 8 THC, on the other hand, is nearly the same as delta-9 chemically with one small difference. Delta-8 has a double bond on its 8th carbon chain rather than its 9th (like with delta-9). Delta-8 is also found in much smaller quantities, and because of this, can be sourced from either high-THC marijuana, or low-THC hemp. The ability to source it from industrial hemp created a loophole of legality at first for delta-8, which is known to have similar effects as delta-9, albeit not quite as intense, and without the anxiety effects, which actually makes it preferable for cannabis users who have issues with the anxiety produced.

In terms of legality, a loophole was created when the 2018 farm bill separated high-THC marijuana from low-THC hemp, legalizing the latter and what is produced from it, while not technically making any legalization of a THC compound. This was further updated by new rules in the summer of 2020. The first bullet point of this update reads as follows: “It modifies 21 CFR 1308.11(d)(31) by adding language stating that the definition of “Tetrahydrocannabinols” does not include “any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that falls within the definition of hemp set forth in 7 U.S.C. 1639o.” While there is still nothing solid in terms of a specific legalization for delta-8 THC, this does back up that substances obtained from hemp are not definitionally THC by US law. Essentially, it continues the delta-8 THC loophole, and the one thing we know from the world around us, is that if you give an inch, they’ll take a mile. Gray area is as good as legal in the world of legal cannabis these days and so delta-8 THC can be found over the counter in tons of places.

So, what’s the problem?

Recent reports have made it around the internet about bleach delta-8 THC contaminated products. The report seems to be curtesy of Julie Helmer, the CEO of Freshbros, which is, itself, a CBD/hemp company. According to Helmer, there are thousands of delta 8 products that are contaminated with bleach, and that consumers never know. The reason for the bleach contaminated products, according to Helmer, is to get rid of delta-8’s naturally rose-ish color, since clear is often a sign of quality for distillates.

The main problem with this story is that the only person who seems to think there’s a problem is Julie Helmer of Freshbros, a private company that sells these products, and seems to want to take the lead in terms of having the ‘safest’ and ‘cleanest’ products. In fact, every article I found written on the topic is relevant to Helmer’s statement’s only, and most of these articles go on to give Freshbros’ advice for cleaner products, the kind of move used to get ahead in a market by putting out the idea that only this company would have or could have done it properly.

The takeaway

As of right now there is nothing official saying there are delta-8 THC contaminated products. No testing facility, or other private company, or third-party watchdog group has said anything. The only statement being made is being made by a private company that stands to gain more market share by denigrating the existing market.

Does this mean all delta-8 THC products are safe? Not at all! The very best point Freshbros makes isn’t the point it was trying to make. New products that don’t go through regulation can be dicey, and it is important to keep an eye on manufacturing practices to ensure corners aren’t being cut. Maybe bleach really is an issue, but maybe its not at all…it certainly can’t be known by the information out right now. More will have to be done in the future to ensure unregulated cannabis products are not messed with, contaminated, or adulterated in any other form.

Where can you get safe Delta-8 THC products?

If you are interested in finding the best Delta 8 THC products, with proper lab results and good product reviews, sign to the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter, below, where every week we bring you the best available Delta 8 THC products.

The post Delta-8 THC Contaminated Products, or Just Bad Press? appeared first on CBD Testers.

How CBD Oil Can Result in a Failed Drug Test

When most people think about getting drug tested for a job, they tend to think the test is looking for drugs like cocaine or cannabis. They might assume that hemp-derived CBD oil purchased over the counter from a convenience store won’t cause any problems, given it’s not supposed to contain any THC. But is it safe for someone to use CBD-rich products derived from hemp (with 0.3% THC or less) before a drug test? In reality, it’s risky, though the reasons why are complicated.

In order to understand the conundrum, it’s important to understand what the drug tests are looking for. Tests look for the analytes of drugs, rather that the presence of the drug itself. So, instead of testing for “cannabis” (which contains over 100 cannabinoids), tests look for just two of the cannabinoids: THCA and THC.

Tests aren’t looking for CBD, but given that there is currently no FDA regulation on CBD products (except the seizure drug Epidiolex), there’s no certainty that hemp-derived CBD oil is actually THC free. And over the past few months, reports have surfaced that people in multiple states have been fired or not hired due to testing positive for THC after using CBD-rich hemp products.

Guy DuBeau, a Wisconsin-based attorney who has written legal advice for people whose CBD usage resulted in a failed drug test, said that a big reason these failures happen is because hemp-derived CBD products are not regulated.

“You are getting companies importing stuff that is supposed to test as hemp, but it actually tests at three to four times the amount of THC it should have,” DuBeau said.

Annie Rouse, co-founder of the online CBD shop Anavii Market and a member of the Hemp Industries Association’s board of directors, agrees that regulation is the way to go.

“This is something we need to figure out on the federal level so people can actively take CBD,” Rouse said, adding that she has been “in conversations with Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office,” specifically about the issue of raising the testing limit for THCA on Department of Transportation drug tests.

PHOTO Canna Obscura

Currently, the Department of Transportation mandates a very low testing limit of 50 nanograms of THC per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood. Rouse has proposed to McConnell’s office that the department raise its testing limit to mirror the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who does the drug testing for Olympic athletes. In 2013, WADA increased its testing limit to 150 ng/mL of THC.

“I am a small person and I take 100 milligrams of CBD a day,” Rouse said. In that dose of CBD, there’s a small enough amount of THC where Rouse said she “would fail a drug test by the [Department of Transportation], even though I am not actually taking THC and not being intoxicated by it.”

An individual’s body type and metabolism matter, too. “If you have more muscle and less fat, cannabinoids will not stay in your body as long,” said Rouse.

None of the experts Cannabis Now spoke to could say if the method of consumption of hemp-derived CBD, including edibles, topicals, tinctures and vapes, would affect test results,

Ultimately, the experts recommended that if you are using high doses of CBD products that contain trace amounts of THC, you should discontinue use at least a week before you anticipate a drug test to minimize the risk of a false positive. Rouse suggests that if you get one, request “a confirmatory test,” which does a better job of distinguishing between different cannabinoids, but also has a lower limit of 15 ng/mL.

Given the prevalence of this issue, Rouse’s home state of Kentucky is currently considering a bill, which, if passed, would give CBD users in that state protections in hiring and firing. However, as Rouse said, the drug-testing reform and CBD regulations would have to be enacted at the federal level, not just in the states, before people can consume hemp-derived CBD worry-free.

TELL US, has CBD ever given you a false positive on a drug test?

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post How CBD Oil Can Result in a Failed Drug Test appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Croptober Is Going Up In Smoke Amid Wildfires: Cannabis Weekly (BNN Bloomberg)

// Nebraska Activists Unveil New Medical Marijuana Initiative For 2022 Following Supreme Court Defeat (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts marijuana regulators close in on cannabis home delivery plan (Mass Live)

These headlines are brought to you by Atlantic Farms, a Maine-based multistate cannabis business with operations in Maine and Massachusetts. Atlantic Farms is looking for people to help it grow and evolve as investors. Open up for more on the company and email to learn about investment opportunities.

// In South Dakota voters have to shout twice to legalize marijuana (Leafly)

// New Jersey Marijuana Campaign Launches First Ad As Poll Shows Support For Legalization Referendum (Marijuana Moment)

// Oregon Hemp Litigation: Does Oregon’s Eviction Moratorium Apply to Cannabis Businesses? (Canna Law Blog)

// Top Illinois And Michigan Officials Give Marijuana Legalization Advice To Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor (Marijuana Moment)

// Coronavirus outbreak has led more to support N.J. ballot question on legal weed, poll finds (

// iAnthus Recapitalization Dismissed By Judge (Green Market Report)

// Where to find Maine’s recreational marijuana stores (Leafly)

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Hemp Advocates Secure Major Win In New House Government Funding Measure (Marijuana Moment)

// Texas Ban On Smokable Hemp Lifted Until 2021 Judge Rules (Marijuana Moment)

// Scott says lawmakers have ‘come a long ways’ on retail pot bill (Valley News)

These headlines are brought to you by MJToday Media, publishers of this podcast as well as our weekly show Marijuana Today and the most-excellent Green Rush Podcast. And check out our new show Weed Wonks!

// New York Launches Process For Destroying Marijuana Conviction Records (Marijuana Moment)

// Cannabis Subscription Boxes Grow By 550% (Green Market Report)

// Canadian Cannabis Sales Accelerate in July to $232 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Study: Recreational Marijuana Could Bring Connecticut $100 Million Over 4 Years (WSHU Public Radio)

// Legal Marijuana Now Party turns in signatures for official recognition in Nebraska (Cherokee Tribune & Ledger News)

// Marijuana seller’s story of ‘badass’ Mexican sisters was a cultural misstep Latinas say (Herald Mail (AP))

// Millennials Prefer Smoking Their Cannabis (Green Market Report)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: Mark Fuya/Flickr