(A version of this story first appeared at Hemp Industry Daily.)
California lawmakers will be faced again with the long-debated question of whether to allow hemp extracts in food and beverages in the state when the legislative session opens Monday.
But this time, the proposal comes with a twist: The measure would also ban smokable hemp flower – an increasingly popular and unregulated segment of the industry.
The ban would be a big concession in order to pass a measure that has pitted marijuana and hemp operators against one another other over the regulatory scrutiny each sector faces.
Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, a Democrat carrying the bill, said Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration requested the prohibition on smokable hemp.
Aguiar-Curry has touted her bill as a much-needed economic driver during the coronavirus pandemic.
She introduced a similar measure without the smokable hemp ban last year, but it failed in September because lawmakers ran out of time to consider it as they worked on pandemic-relief measures.
In addition to allowing CBD in food and beverages, the bill would also set testing requirements for safety and to ensure products don’t have more than 0.3% THC.
The bill would open the door for CBD products to go be sold legally across California; such sales are now largely unregulated.