The 2018 Farm Bill was a groundbreaking moment for hemp CBD supplement industry. Federal legalization of industrial hemp took it out of the crossfire between law enforcement and hemp’s more sinister THC-laden counterpart.
But now with states like Montana and New York moving on with full cannabis legalization, how does that impact hemp CBD? Will it be available in dispensaries or still remain largely unregulated as a health supplement?
Most importantly, which product is the best choice for your needs? Let’s take a look.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Before we dive in, it’s important to distinguish the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. And the difference is….that there is none.
Contrary to many advertisements, government propaganda, and (consequently) popular belief, “hemp” and “marijuana” aren’t scientific terms. Instead, the former is used in the U.S. to describe a cannabis sativa L. plant with 0.3% THC or less, while the latter refers to anything above that arbitrary THC limit.
In other words, despite sounding like simple plants, “hemp” and “marijuana” are just THC benchmarks to tell police if they can arrest you.
But while cannabidol is the same compound regardles of where it comes from, its source plant can impact a CBD product’s legal status. However, as states legalize recreational cannabis, this difference may affect who can sell CBD.
New York vs. Montana
New York and Montana are both full-speed ahead for recreational cannabis legalization. But one expemplifies what to do, while the other teaches us the opposite.
The good news is that, methods aside, both states offer something valuable to hard-working and diligent CBD supplement vendors.
First, let’s give New York state a round of applause. In one fell swoop, they solved virtually every problem facing CBD supplement vendors (and consumers).
But rather than merge hemp CBD with “marijuana”-derived products, New York created a separate regulatory framework, including licensing applications and consumer standards.
Most notably, the New York Department of Health says:
…the Department of Health (DOH) is launching a new Cannabinoid Hemp Program to regulate the processing, manufacturing and sale of cannabinoid hemp products…the Program implements basic consumer protections to ensure cannabinoid hemp products are properly manufactured, laboratory tested and accurately labeled.
The Program requires anyone who is processing, manufacturing or selling cannabinoid hemp to first obtain a license from DOH.
If you want to know the full details (and don’t mind a bit of legalese), you can read more about it here.
You might be thinking that this information is more relevant to vendors than anyone else. But it’s just as important to you – if not more. For many companies, the transition simply means some extra (but still annoying) paperwork.
But if you’ve been unknowingly buying sub-par, untested CBD, the new rules are a stern warning to these vendors, saying “step up your game, or you’re out of the league.”
More importantly, having set rules in place makes it much easier to seek damages or force product recalls. If you lose your job because your “broad-spectrum” oil made you test positive for THC, the shady people who sell it won’t be able to hide behind a legal gray area.
Now let’s cover our other example. It’s a lesson on what happens when legislators throw common sense out the window. Consequently, rather than New York’s clear framework, Montana essentially cut the CBD industry off at the knees.
We briefly tweeted about ths recently, but it’s a strict warning that lawmakers need to proceed with caution.
Typically, people go over new, groundbreaking legislation with a fine-toothed comb (or at least we hope so). But even the best scrutiny may not catch small mistakes. But anyone familiar with the “butterfly effect” knows a small misstep could have massive consequences. Unfortunately, Montana’s legal slip-up is a perfect example, especially if you work in the hemp-derived CBD supplement industry.
So what was Montana’s most embarrassing goof-up? It’s the “hemp vs. marijuana question” we covered. Again, “hemp” and “marijuana” are chemovars of the same plant, called cannabis sativa L. Yet according to the mistake in their new law, hemp farmers will no longer be able to provide dispensaries with CBD.
That’s rough for them. But how does it affect you? Recreational and medical extract manufactuers usually focus on THC products, relying on their counterparts to provide hemp-derived CBD.
But thanks to poor planning, hemp manufacturers are cut out of the loop for the time being, which means licensed producers have to pick up the CBD demand, or you’ll end up buying cheap gas station products.
All of this happened because Montana couldn’t understand a simple fact about botany.
Dispensary Extracts or Supplements. Which One is Best?
A regulated industry can provide quality CBD from hemp or “marijuana,” but it seems states like New York and Montana prefer (or should prefer) leaving CBD production to licensed hemp manufacturers.
But what if you live outside those areas? One strong example is, of course, Colorado. CBD oil is legal there, but thanks to recreational legalization, cannabidiol products can come from hemp or “marijuana.”
So why not just buy from a dispensary? Because despite CBD being the same compound, extracting it from legal marijuana can come with consequences – specifically concerning THC.
The convenient thing about industrial hemp CBD is that the host plant only has 0.3% THC by dry weight. Marijuana plants – by law – contain over 0.3% THC. But the reality is even CBD-rich strains can’t cut THC down to such low levels.
Legalization protects you against consequences (at the state level) for possessing CBD products with over 0.3% THC.
However, if you need CBD with no THC, your best source is a hemp-derived broad-spectrum supplement.
Do We Have to Legalize Marijuana to Keep CBD Safe?
No, lawmakers who are averse to legalization don’t have to pursue that. They can simply follow New York’s example and place the same regulations, standards, and consumer protections that you see anywhere else – from cannabis to canned food.
At Tessera Naturals, we’d welcome that kind of regulation. We spent a lot of time building trust with reputable third-party lab tests and superior nano-CBD. If jumping through a few legal hoops will solidify that image, then we’re all for it.
- “Marijuana” and “hemp” both refer to the cannabis sativa L. plant species
- Montana lawmakers failed to understand this distinction
- New York developed an excellent regulatory framework
- Regulation means protection for businesses and consumers
- Hemp-derived CBD is the best choice for zero-THC products