Saturday, 16 October 2021

Governor signs Aguiar-Curry bill to legalize, regulate hemp-derived CBD

State Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) announced Wednesday the governor’s signing of her comprehensive legislation to legalize and regulate hemp cannabinoids, or CBD, in California.

That legislation, Assembly Bill 45, allows CBD derived from hemp to be produced and sold in the state once it meets rigorous testing and regulatory requirements, established in the bill.

An urgency measure that received bipartisan support in the Legislature, AB 45 goes into effect immediately.

Hemp is not marijuana. While both hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis family, they are uniquely distinctive plants.

Hemp-derived CBD does not produce a “high” because CBD derived from hemp contains only trace amounts — less than 0.3% — of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana products.

AB 45 caps the amount of THC in any hemp product at that 0.3% level, guaranteeing the product will not be intoxicating.

Consumers in California have been seeking out hemp-derived CBD because it can provide relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia and other conditions.

Many people have been purchasing hemp-derived CBD products over the internet, and at their local natural foods shops, fitness centers and health stores for some time, without the knowledge that these products are illegal and unregulated.

In fact, seniors are a significant portion of the people choosing to use hemp CBD, because they do not want to visit a marijuana dispensary.

“California consumers have been unwittingly purchasing unregulated hemp CBD products for far too long,” said Aguiar-Curry. “AB 45 puts in place a rigorous system for testing and labeling hemp CBD so that we can be sure these products are safe in our state. I want to thank Gov. Newsom for his partnership in helping develop this legislation, and the economic and health benefits that will result.”

State Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) partnered with Aguiar-Curry in this effort, carrying companion legislation in the State Senate this year.

“With this bill we were looking to lessen the bureaucratic barriers that prevent cannabis licensees from creating products that can treat debilitating medical conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain,” said Allen. “Now, with AB 45, many promising hemp-derived CBD products are a step closer to reaching the Californians who really need them.”

Aguiar-Curry worked closely with representatives of the hemp industry in crafting the legislation to ensure its workability for growers and CBD producers while putting in place stringent regulatory authority to ensure the hemp CBD products Californians consume is clearly labeled and non-intoxicating.

“The hemp community owes Asm. Aguiar-Curry a deep debt of gratitude for her extraordinary leadership during our three year battle to ensure that hemp products such as CBD could be legally sold in California,” said Jonathan Miller, general counsel to the US Hemp Roundtable, a sponsor of the legislation. “AB 45 will make a meaningful difference in the lives of hemp farmers, small businesses and product consumers, and its passage would not have been possible without Asm. Aguiar-Curry’s passionate persistence.”

“We cannot thank the author enough for her tireless and unparalleled work to get comprehensive hemp regulations passed. Assembly member Aguiar-Curry has been steadfast in her approach to create a level playing field between cannabis and hemp while protecting the health and safety of all Californians,” said Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. “AB 45 establishes a long overdue, comprehensive framework for the manufacture and sale of hemp products in California, but our work is not over. We look forward to working with the author on future legislation to establish a pathway for the incorporation of hemp into the cannabis supply chain.”

“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,” Aguiar-Curry said. “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.”

Aguiar-Curry represents the Fourth Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.

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