The cannabidiol (CBD) industry has grown rapidly over the past two years with no signs of slowing down. Because of its rapid growth and lack of consistent regulation by any governing agency companies with less than ideal practices have started to flood the industry.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but without the psychoactive effects and high. It is sourced from industrial hemp which is grown with little to no THC present due to one of few regulations set that CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Unfortunately, without regulations companies have been able to sell products with more than permissible THC, contaminants, less CBD than labeled, and prohibited health claims. Farmers, manufacturers, and consumers alike have all petitioned the FDA for more guidance to better stabilize the industry and provide protection for both the consumer and seller.
At this point, the extent of regulations falls under the 2018 Farm Bill which made allowances for industrial hemp to be grown for CBD extraction purposes, which is where the regulation for THC levels is also established. Under the same bill, industrial hemp growers are required to establish their own regulations which must be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
It doesn’t take long to look at the CBD industry and realize it is booming. Behind this boom is the potential to be great, but also dangerous. Governor Cuomo has taken notice of the quote “exploding” hemp and CBD industry in the State of New York and has the foresight to see the need for regulations.
Cuomo stated in an interview with Ganjapreneur that without regulations the industry is less likely to see long-term viability and consumers are unprotected. In the same interview Gov. Cuomo is quoted saying that regulations will, “…set the industry on a path to continued growth in a smart, safe way that empowers both farmers and consumers.”
The bill will establish the licensing process for industrial hemp farmers. Under these regulations, the Department of Agriculture and Markets are given the responsibility of overseeing hemp farmers. New York is requiring they follow the 2018 Farm Bill’s rules on establishing their regulations and having them approved by the FDA. In addition to these requirements, farmers will be required to apply for a state license, along with paying a $500 application fee, and a license fee that follows a per-acre fee schedule.
In addition to the bill establishing rules for farmers, processors will have to follow specific guidelines as well. They will enforce the THC level requirement of 0.3% or less which has been set by the federal government in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Manufacturers are not left out of New York’s CBD and industrial hemp regulatory bill. The state is requiring that their products undergo lab testing for THC, CBD quantity, and the presence of potentially harmful substances. They will also face more strict enforcement of honest labeling of their CBD products.
While the USDA and Markets will be enforcing regulations for farmers the State’s Department of Health will oversee CBD and other hemp extracts.
For other states without the same rules and regulations that New York has established there are some specific guidelines, you can follow to potentially avoid low quality, and even dangerous, CBD products.
We can only hope that other states will follow New York’s example and begin the regulatory process for the CBD industry in their state. The industry doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon making regulations and safeguards all the more important to protect people on all sides of the CBD consumer process.