Vicente Sederberg LLP Hemp Update: December 2019

Jan 2, 2020

There is Still Time to Make Your Voice Heard by the USDA

The USDA hemp production interim final rule public comment period has been extended! You now have through January 29, 2020 to submit comments. As of today, over 1,500 comments have been submitted. The USDA interim final rule process for hemp cultivation provides a critical opportunity for your input as they can amend their rule based on public comment. If you are interested in submitting public comment, we can assist! Please email m.mcdonald@vicentesederberg.com

USDA Approves State and Tribal Hemp Production Plans

Another historic moment in hemp history happened recently! USDA approved hemp production plans for three States and three Indian Tribes. The following states and tribes now have federal approval to administer and oversee hemp production/cultivation in their jurisdiction:

  • Louisiana
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Flandreau Santee Sioux
  • La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians
  • Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians

As these jurisdictions now all have primary regulatory authority of hemp production, any hemp farmer within their borders cannot apply directly to the USDA to obtain a hemp growers license. Hemp grower licenses will only be issued by the state or tribe. Copies of the plans and a table summarizing the status of pending plans can be found here.

A New Sheriff in Town – Senate Confirms New FDA Commissioner

On December 12, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Stephen Hahn as the new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Hahn is a chief medical executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. During his confirmation hearing, Hahn did not say how he would approach the FDA review of CBD, but did say that he wants to see more research to answer any “open and unanswered questions” about cannabinoids.

Congress Agrees on Funding for Evaluation of FDA Enforcement of Hemp CBD Products

The House Committee on Appropriations agreed that the FDA would receive $2 million in funding for research, policy evaluation, market surveillance and issuance of an enforcement discretion policy for products containing hemp CBD. The legislation instructs the FDA to provide the Committees with a progress report within 60 days of the act’s enactment. The agency is also instructed to conduct a study of the current CBD market within 180 days to determine the extent to which products are mislabeled or adulterated. The bill containing this provision was signed by President Trump on December 20.  View the appropriations act here.

Hope for Hemp Banking: Federal Guidance Clarifies and Eases Reporting Requirements

On December 3, 2019, four federal financial regulatory agencies took an important step to enable hemp operators to access banking services by publishing hemp banking guidance. The statement clarifies that banks do not have to file suspicious activity reports for customers solely because they are involved in the hemp industry. Read our Insights post to learn more.

EPA Approves 10 Pesticides for Hemp

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the agency is approving 10 pesticide products for use on hemp- just in time for the 2020 growing season. Read the full update from the Office of Pesticide Programs.

State Updates
  • A new compliance tip was released from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division regarding hemp products sales and use as an ingredient. The tip provides an overview of the new rules permitting the sale of industrial hemp products and use of industrial hemp as an ingredient in marijuana concentrates and products as of July 1, 2020. View the tip here.

  • On December 10, Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Hemp Advancement & Management Plan (CHAMP) initiative welcomed more than 100 hemp industry members, advocates, farmers, and others for a public meeting to gather feedback and coordinate a unified state response in advance of the USDA’s interim final rule comment period deadline.

  • The Idaho State Department of Agriculture issued temporary rules authorizing hemp to be shipped across the state. This executive order should temporarily resolve conflicts between state and federal law regarding interstate transport of hemp. 

  • On December 9, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed hemp legislation to provide for a sound regulatory framework for hemp cultivation and sale in the Empire State. Notably, the NY Hemp Law gives the New York Department of Health regulatory oversight over hemp products for human consumption, allowing for greater consistency in the regulation of medical cannabis and hemp products. Read our summary of the legislation, which includes insights into the regulation of cultivation and the regulation of hemp extracts, including CBD.

  • The Texas Department of Agriculture (overseeing hemp cultivation and non-consumable products manufacturing) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (overseeing hemp consumable products manufacturing and retail sales) recently issued draft regulations for the state hemp program. View the Department of State Health Regulations here and the Texas Secretary of State Proposed Regulations here.

International Updates
  • Mexican Court Rules in Favor of Protecting CBD Permits
    On May 13, 2019 CBD Science, a ten-permit holder company filed a motion in court seeking court protection to ensure that previously obtained licenses remain in force and effective and not be revoked by the Mexican government. These licenses were issued under regulatory guidance that has since been revoked. During the second half of November 2019 (exact date uncertain), the court issued a provisional ruling in favor of CBD Science granting protection against the permits’ cancellation. Even though some media outlets reported this ruling as a definitive resolution, a final ruling is still expected soon.  

 

This material is intended as informational only and the content should not be construed as legal advice.