Last week, the governor of California signed into law a reform that opens the state’s economy globally to manufacturers of hemp-derived CBD products. The bill the governor signed, dubbed AB45, creates a framework for the manufacture and sale of hemp-derived products in the state.
The measure will allow hemp-derived CBD products to be sold to the state’s adult-use or medical cannabis retailers, with forecasts showing that those stores will hit sales of between $4.8 billion and $5.7 billion this year. Canopy Growth Corp.’s (TSX: WEED) (NASDAQ: CGC) head of lobbying, David Culver, states that officials had been working on this measure for more than two years.
Canopy Growth is involved in the manufacture of CBD products derived from hemp, which include a line of CBD gummies and Biosteel sports drinks. However, the company hasn’t been selling those products in California because the state’s cannabis policy didn’t allow the sale of over-the-counter CBD products.
In an interview, Culver stated that the measure would open up the state’s market and offer regulatory certainty for retailers in California to assure them that their products for sale won’t be confiscated or seized. Back in 2018, a ban on hemp-derived CBD in drinks and dietary supplements and food led to product seizures and occasional raids.
CV Sciences senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs Doug MacKay stated that before the 2018 ban, the company had been operating successfully in California and had built a lot of relationships. CV Sciences is involved in the manufacture and sale of hemp-derived CBD products. It sells its products in CVS drugstores and other countrywide retailers. After the ban, the company, which is based in California, had to stop distributing its products in brick-and-mortar shelves in the state.
MacKay applauds cannabis and hemp negotiators for not giving up until a compromise for the sale of CBD products was reached. In his statement, he noted that the measure marked a clear pathway to the market and afforded retailers a clear way to work with other CBD companies that are willing to have the right labeling and follow the laws.
However, not everyone is happy with the measure, as the ban on smokable hemp is still intact, which leaves hemp farmers at a disadvantage. National Industrial Hemp Council spokesperson Larry Farnsworth stated that the measure would affect hemp farmers in the state who grow smokable hemp flower. Some hemp producers in the state have even threatened to file a lawsuit over the new measure.
Those grumbles notwithstanding, the passing of the CBD law in California is likely to broaden the market for leading manufacturers of CBD products.
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