CBD and Cannabis News Update

This week’s CBD and cannabis updates from the United States and around the globe.

April 22, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va. —Each week, NACS brings you a roundup of news and information on cannabis and CBD to help update you on the fast-moving products and their legality. Here are the topics in the news for the week of April 22 to 26:

U.S. Federal Activity 

  • Congressional Committees Outline Plans for Marijuana Reform in 2019. The latest sign that House Democrats plan to prioritize marijuana reform legislation is a series of committee reports outlining cannabis-related issues various panels plan to tackle. The reports, compiled by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, are meant to “form a coherent blueprint for Congress to address issues of concern to working families across the country.” (Source: Marijuana Moment
  • State Financial Regulators Press Congress to Allow Marijuana Banking Access. The top financial regulators in 25 states and U.S. territories are joining together to pressure Congress to pass legislation allowing marijuana businesses to store their profits in banks. In a letter to House and Senate leadership, the regulators cite a lack of clarity by the federal government for how financial institutions can serve this industry, without the threat of forfeiture of assets or criminal penalties, which results in many transactions occurring in cash. (Source: Forbes
  • USDA Announces Alternative Importation Path for Hemp Seeds. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced an alternative way for the safe importation of hemp seeds into the U.S., following requests from U.S. producers. Specifically, the release provides pathways for the importation of hemp seeds from Canada and other countries. (Source: USDA AMS
U.S. State and Local Activity 
  • Los Angeles Sues Unlicensed Cannabis Dispensary, Seeking Millions. The city of Los Angeles is seeking millions in civil penalties from an unlicensed South L.A. cannabis dispensary accused of selling marijuana contaminated with pesticides, a move officials say is intended to crack down on widespread illegal pot sales. (Source: LA Times
  • Michigan Launches Hemp Farming. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will begin accepting applications on April 23 from people interested in participating in an industrial hemp pilot project. The state’s pilot program will allow people to test the waters to see whether growing and processing industrial hemp is economically feasible. (Source: Detroit Free Press
  • Local South Dakota State’s Attorneys Comment on CBD. Following a press release issued by State Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg confirming that CBD oil remains illegal in South Dakota, several local state’s attorneys are making their own determinations. The state’s attorneys in Minnehaha and Lincoln County, for example, said that recent legislative changes have created a gap in the previous controlled substance statutory framework, leaving the legality of CBD oil products open to different interpretations. As such, these officials said they will continue to review all cases involving CBD oil on a case by case basis. The Pennington County state’s attorney, on the other hand, has stated that he won’t prosecute cases involving hemp and CBD oil. (Source: KSFY ABCRapid City Journal
  • Fresh&Co. Offers Limited CBD-Infused Menu in NYC. New York-based salad and sandwich chain Fresh&Co. recently rolled out a limited time, CBD-infused “4/20” menu that includes a “half-baked salad” and “blazed beet sandwich” among its selections. New York officials aren’t amused with the offering, as the city decided to ban CBD from food products, giving retailers until July 1 to comply. (Source: Bloomberg)  
  • Vitamin Shoppe to Sell Edible CBD Supplements. The Vitamin Shoppe started stocking its shelves with oral CBD soft gels and will start selling CBD drops by the end of April. It’s one of the first major national retailers to sell CBD supplements since Congress legalized the cannabis derivative in December. The move flies in the face of guidance from the FDA that prohibits companies from adding CBD to dietary supplements until the agency has a chance to write new rules regulating its sale. (Source: CNBC
  • Legalization of Marijuana Casts Doubt on Employee Drug Testing Model. With the increased legalization of marijuana, many businesses and politicians are reconsidering workplace drug testing. Though drug testing likely won't disappear forever, experts predict the scope of testing will decrease—and they say the type of testing should change. (Source: Business Insider
  • $3.4 Billion Cannabis Merger Is on the Horizon (Maybe). The Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth—which is 38% owned by beer and spirits company Constellation Brands—bought the right to acquire Acreage Holdings only if recreational marijuana is legalized in the U.S. (Source: Axios
NACS has prepared a fact sheet (for members only) to help you navigate what’s legal and what’s not for CBD retailing.