CBD and Cannabis News Update

This week’s CBD and cannabis updates from the U.S. and around the globe.

May 20, 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 May 13–17:

U.S. Federal Activity

  • Secretary Mnuchin Says No Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks for Cannabis Businesses. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin advised against leveraging the 2017 tax law’s opportunity zone tax incentives to fund a marijuana business, even those that are legal at the state level. (Source: Bloomberg Tax)
  • ONDCP Questioned About Cannabis at Congressional Hearing. The head of the White House’s drug policy office was asked about marijuana, CBD and racial inequities in treatment access during a congressional appearance. (Source: Marijuana Moment)
  • Biden Supports Decriminalization. 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden supports decriminalizing marijuana, but the former vice president isn’t going as far as calling for the drug to be legalized on the federal level. (Source: CNN
State and Local Activity
  • California Lawmakers Consider Bill to Create State-Chartered Cannabis Banks. California’s legal marijuana industry is struggling to compete with the black market and is facing challenges that include banking access and high taxes. To address some of these challenges, California legislators are considering a bill that would allow California marijuana firms to receive banking services from state-chartered banks and credit unions. (Source: CNBC)
  • Georgia Regulators Warn Against Adding CBD to Food and Drinks. Despite a new Georgia law that allows hemp farming and commercial sales of hemp products, the state’s agriculture commissioner is warning businesses and consumers that products such as CBD coffee, ice cream, and dietary supplements remain prohibited nationwide. If the state is notified of any such violations, regulators could issue cease and desist orders, levy fines, and/or revoke manufactured food licenses from establishments that sell CBD food products. (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Confusion Compounds Over Iowa CBD Oil Laws. Iowa Governor Reynolds recently signed into law a bill that would regulate the hemp industry in the state. Questions remain, however, as to whether the bill makes it legal to sell and possess CBD oil and associated products. (Source: ABC5 – Iowa)
  • Legislation to Legalize Cannabis Dead in New Jersey, for Now. New Jersey’s top state lawmaker announced that he is dropping efforts to have the state legislature pass a bill that would legalize marijuana in New Jersey. Instead, he said lawmakers will ask New Jersey voters in November 2020 to decide whether to make weed legal in the state. (Sources: NJ.comPolitico)
  • New York Introduces New Marijuana Legalization Bill. After the failure to include legalized adult use cannabis in the state budget earlier this year, sponsors of the legislation say they are introducing a bill that they hope stands a better chance at becoming law. (Source: Forbes)
  • Texas CBD/Hemp Legislation Passes Senate. A bill that would legalize CBD oil and clarify a hemp regulatory scheme in Texas passed through the Senate with amendments. The bill must now be passed by a conference committee, but supporters are optimistic it will make it to the governor’s desk. (Sources: NBC5 – DFW;Texas Tribune
NACS has prepared a fact sheet (for members only) to help you navigate what’s legal and what’s not for CBD retailing. Don’t miss the just-added Federal Cannabis Legislation Tracker covering bills that have been introduced in Congress in 2019 pertaining to marijuana legalization that may affect retailers.