California AB45: Hemp and CBD Infused Products
Smokable Hemp, CBD Infused Products, and a Clear Ban on Delta 8 Delta 10 THC
California Governor Gavin Newsome enacted Assembly Bill 45 on October 7th, 2021 certifying smokable hemp and CBD products as safe for use in food, beverages, and cosmetics. This move allows a whole new range of hemp and CBD infused products to be produced and marketed, though retail sales will have to wait for the following assembly sessions to solidify the tax structure for these new products. The wording of the bill is such that food and cosmetic products are no longer considered adulterated when infused with hemp or CBD, which puts this bill at odds with federal law issued by the FDA.
This also makes California the first market in the nation to allow these types of products, so the rest of the US will be watching closely to see how they rollout regulations for consumer protections and safety, as well as third-party testing and the prevention of THC contamination. In the meantime, farms and manufacturers are already allowed to begin producing hemp and CBD infused products in advance of the beginning of retail sales.
Currently, the bill has banned the sale of inhalable CBD or hemp products, and this includes raw hemp flower or CBD distillates and extracts. The state is in the process of determining guidelines for the regulation and sales of these products, and, when they are allowed, the purchase of these products will be restricted to consumers 21 and over.
AB45 has made some clear determinations regarding the production of hemp and CBD products. For instance, they are not to contain any artificial flavorings (only natural terpenes and cannabinoids), polyethylene glycol (PEG), vitamin E acetate, or medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil). Also, the bill clarifies matters surrounding the production of pet foods and livestock feed containing hemp or CBD is now considered safe, opening new retail venues for farmers and manufacturers.
With standards now in place for product testing, labeling, and security, farmers and manufacturers can now begin implementing the basics of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and developing operating procedures for managing compliance. California requires these facilities meet GMP, and manufacturers should be prepared for annual visitations and inspections from State Department of Public Health.
One of the major concerns of the state is the prevention of THC and THC isomers from contaminating hemp or CBD products which are defined as having less than .3% THC by concentration. This means operating procedures for product handling, manufacturing, labeling, security, and marketing all need to be developed with an eye towards compliance with the new state laws in advance of upcoming retail sales.
These measures also make California the next to join a growing list of states which have banned Delta 8, Delta 10, and other isomerizations of THC. The consensus has been clear nationally that the 2019 Farm Bill which federally legalized Hemp and CBD in the US was never intended to legalize a psychoactive substance, and companies outside of compliance with state laws on these matters could soon face fines and closures.
There are number of exciting opportunities emerging out of this legislation such as the opportunity to license a hemp farm as organic, and market sustainably grown, health-conscious products to consumers and manufacturers alike. The Regulatory Compliance experts at Cannaspire are prepared to implement organic farming procedures, help our clients select a third-party certifying body, and then develop records and procedures for process development to ensure continued re-certification of their farm as an organic producer.
With new food and cosmetic products about to hit the shelves, there will be requirements in place for best used by dates and product stability studies required by the state to meet labeling and consumer safety guidelines. The experts at Cannaspire (formerly CannaBeSecure) can help with supplier verification, pesticide inspection and testing, as well as creating a food safety plan or working with a certified testing laboratory to create product stability studies. This ensures that manufacturers are receiving quality, safe products from farmers within their supply chain and guarantees that food products and components are verified from vendors, and properly stored and utilized within production facilities according to state guidelines.
We can also help manufacturers select laboratory grade equipment for production and help them determine the scale of production and output required to run a successful business. These include wiped film distillation, LPG extraction, and the required safety equipment and protocols necessary for the safe and compliant operation of these facilities.
Lastly, this bill opens California to be a recipient of large-scale hemp and CBD production facilities both nationally and internationally. Foreign hemp and CBD sources have increasingly been coming under scrutiny since these markets are still emerging and have yet to enact the guidelines of GMP. US based farmers and manufacturers will be in a scramble to meet demand and gain access to the growing California market with an eye towards federal production and sales. This will put a heavy burden on California based producers of food and cosmetics products to ensure that their source materials are compliant and safe for consumption. Cannaspire can develop in-house testing protocols which can help these businesses verify their supply sources before paying for third-party testing or facing fines and delays from products which fail to meet state standards during inspections or audits.
The state of California is again leading the nation forward with the development of new cannabis products and markets. Make sure your business is ready for when sales begin with compliance solutions and protocols to ensure that visits from state inspectors go smoothly and that your business enjoys continued success as this market grows by partnering with experienced industry experts.