Industrial Hemp Must Be Explicitly Exempted From The Marijuana Legalization Regulations
The current bill (SB 1406) to legalize marijuana appears to rope hemp in with the marijuana regulations. Not only would the administrative requirements for tracking bury the hemp industry, but the prohibitions on farmers being able to act as retailers for their own products or to sell their hemp products online, or at healthfood stores that weren’t also licensed marijuana dispensaries would destroy the industry here in Virginia (as well as make it illegal for any cbd products to be shipped into the state across state lines).
The current language also appears to make it a crime for a school bus driver to take cbd, or for a student to take their cbd to school with them to help them focus. It would also make it illegal for a hand made soap or bathbomb artisan to include cbd in their product without expensive licenses, and they would then be prohibited from selling their product anywhere but at a licensed marijuana retail dispensary.
Obviously, this cannot happen. Please send an email to the senators on the committee (below) asking them to explicitly exempt hemp farmers and hemp products from this bill.
(Suggested language provided below)
Currently, it appears that Hemp Farmers are included in the marijuana regulations for SB 1406.
Line 2078 specificies that crops under 1% THC must have a Class B Cannabis license. Industrial hemp plants are the only cannabis plants that anyone is growing under 1% THC.
There is no exemption for industrial hemp from the regulations in the bill, and without an exemption saying that industrial hemp and hemp products are not subject to the bill’s regulatory requirements, hemp farmers & hemp products will essentially be put out of business.
Bus drivers will be subject to criminal penalties for taking cbd. Students who take cbd to help them focus on their classwork will be subject to the criminal charges for marijuana use and possession on school grounds.
Local artisans would also be crushed by prohibitive licensing fees and only able to sell their products at the licensed marijuana retail locations described in the bill, despite the fact that industrial hemp products are federally recognized and protected.
Additionally the prohibition on importation into Virginia of the hemp and cbd products roped into this regulatory structure will draw a federal lawsuit based on the interstate commerce.
Some folks want to be the senator who legalized marijuana, others want to be the senator who voted against it, but NOBODY wants to be the senator who criminalized kids taking CBD at school so that they could focus on their classes better. Nobody wants to be the senator who banned industrial hemp for seed and fiber. CBD hemp for extracts and hemp for seed & fiber are multi-billion dollar industries across the United States and those will be shut out here in Virginia.
Additionally, the inclusion of industrial hemp and hemp products in the exceptions to the marijuana tax (Beginning on Line 7158) appear to mean that industrial hemp and hemp products very much ARE meant to be included in the restrictions and regulations of this bill. If they were not meant to be included there would be no need to exempt them from the marijuana tax specifically for products that are subject to these regulations.
Applying marijuana regulations to industrial hemp farmers and products will destroy the industry here in Virginia. They must be explicitly exempted from the marijuana regulations in order to protect them, and our kids must be protected from being criminalized simply for taking CBD to help them at school. It’s an easy fix, so let’s fix it.