Under a recently-introduced California bill to permit hemp-infused edibles and drinks, smokable hemp would be excluded from the picture. The inclusion was recently flagged by hemp industry professionals hailing from the “Golden State.”
Assembly Bill 45 was introduced last month by Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, and recently, sources sounded the alarm over the provision against smokable hemp—a new and emerging industry in the state. The bill would allow hemp extracts in food and beverages in California when the legislative session opens.
According to Aguiar-Curry, Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration specifically requested the ban on smokable hemp. The assemblywoman hopes to avoid a clash with the governor. “I need to be mindful that if the administration doesn’t buy in and we go through committees, I don’t want my bill vetoed,” she said. “We were so overcome by all the bills that the administration didn’t want to move anything forward (on hemp) at that time.”
Aguiar-Curry introduced a similar measure last year minus the smokable hemp ban, but it failed to gain steam in September as pandemic-relief measures took priority. “We were so overcome by all the bills that the administration didn’t want to move anything forward (on hemp) at that time,” Aguiar-Curry said. Under Aguiar-Curry’s plan, safety tests would be implemented to ensure that hemp-infused products do not contain more than 0.3 percent delta-9-THC.
Further complicating the issue is the fact that a recent explosion of hemp or hemp-infused products containing delta-8-THC have rolled out, with some reportedly psychoactive effects. Since current law doesn’t explicitly address delta-8-THC, confusion abounds over its legality. Products containing delta-8-THC make a lot more sense, or other products that are designed to help tobacco smokers quit.
Currently, hemp-infused foods and beverages are largely unregulated. Hemp industry professionals are watching the bill closely, as it could easily impact their businesses.
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