California’s delta-8 THC market was crippled last month after Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 45.
AB45 completely upends the state’s previous hemp regulations. The bill, which achieved bipartisan support, circulated through the legislature for years before finally being signed into law on Oct. 6.
“California consumers have been unwittingly purchasing unregulated hemp CBD products for far too long,” said State Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, the bill’s sponsor. “AB 45 puts in place a rigorous system for testing and labeling hemp CBD so that we can be sure these products are safe in our state.”
For hemp farmers, the bill contains good and bad news. CBD and other hemp derivatives are now legal food additives in the state. You can add CBD to food, drinks, dietary supplements, cosmetics, etc.
The bad news is that AB45 redefines what it means to be hemp. When the federal Farm Bill passed in 2018, it legalized hemp that contained less than 0.3% THC. Since that time, hemp growers have extracted multiple cannabinoids from the plant, including CBD and delta-8 THC. Those hemp-derived cannabinoids were not subject to the same testing and regulations that cannabis-derived products were.
Under California’s new rules, hemp products still need to contain less than 0.3% THC. However, THC has been redefined to include other variations beyond Delta-9. Delta-8, Delta-10, and other intoxicating cannabinoids can no longer be present in hemp products.
In addition, hemp products are now under the jurisdiction of the state’s health department and must meet rigid standards.
“The product is everywhere. You can walk into a World Market, a health food store, a pet store, and you’ll see CBD there,” Aguiar-Curry told Politico. “There’s no labeling, it doesn’t tell you if it’s safe. So, I want to make sure that people know what they’re purchasing.”
AB45 went into effect on Oct. 6
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