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To Have Or Not To Have! CBD Confusion Rages In New York City

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CBD oil

The state officials of New York state were one of the pioneers to announce the infusion of CBD in chocolates and tea for alleviating anxiety and similar ailments without creating the high of marijuana. However, the health inspectors of New York City have recently seized CBD-infused products worth thousands of dollars from the Fat Cat Kitchen and similar restaurants. Its owners have also been warned from selling the same or face possible penalties. These incidents were reported within just weeks of CBD becoming legal all across the country.

NYC Crackdown

Various inconsistencies have emerged in state, local and federal rules pertaining to CBD in the New York City which has made its growing business community succumb to heavy losses.C.J. Holm, the owner of the Fat Cat Kitchen pointed out that, “I’m trying to be compliant with the law, but no one seems to be fully aware of what the law is and isn’t.”

Piecemeal legalization of marijuana has lead to the growth of consumer interest in CBD-infused edibles, topical creams and tinctures. This also received the legal certification of being sold as a recreational or medical drug in 33 of its states in spite of being banned by federal laws.

Interest Of Food Giants

A report published by the Cowen Washington Research Group in 2018 revealed that an estimated $300 million was spent by U.S. consumers on CBD food and drinks in the same year. This led to growing interest of other food and drink manufacturers like the Coca-Cola Company and many more for reaping its unearthed potential.

2018 Farm Bill

This was enacted for clearing up the legal status of CBD by legalizing usage of cannabis extracts derived from the hemp plant. These are known to contain extremely low levels of THC which is the main psychoactive trigger in marijuana.

Confusion Galore

The law gave rise to further confusion in terms of business houses wishing to sell CBD infused food or drink. It became almost impossible to abide by one set of regulations without breaching the another.

A guidance was issued by the officials belonging to the State Department of Agriculture in December terming “chocolates with CBD drizzle,”“CBD tea,” and other CBD edibles as legal provided they were manufactured and marketed as dietary supplements. It is imperative to note here that these supplements have to adhere to more stringent guidelines when compared to ordinary food.

The department also made it very clear that doing the same will be in direct contradiction to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules as it has specifically termed addition of CBD to food as a totally unlawful act. The agency had shown green signal to a CBD-infused drug for the very first time last year which paved the path for more confusion to follow.The health inspectors of New York City are seriously considering this legislation.

Confiscation

The owner of Fat Cat Kitchen was thus taken by surprise when all her CBD infused snacks, honey and even raw cookie dough was confiscated in February. Similar scenes could also be seen in four other eateries spread across the city. Holm and her peer restaurant owners received a letter from the department which notified that the seizures shall be initiated by inspectors post 1st July.

Till now it is unclear about the sale of CBD edibles by the cafes and restaurants as dietary supplements in spite of receiving the legal backing of New York state officials.

Standpoint Of FDA & Health Department

Health Department spokesman Michael Lanza revealed that they were simply acting as per the ban of FDA on CBD-infused food and drink. However, FDA spokesman declined commenting on the New York regulations.

Maine, Colorado and some other states have tried to pass laws for allowing CBD infusion to food and drinks. Although CBD is presently a listed drug, FDA might allow its enlisting as a dietary supplement or food additive in days to come. A public forum shall be held in Maryland on May 31st for addressing this burning issue.

CBD Vendors Speak

Holm and her fellow CBD vendors are trying to devise their very own strategies which shall be compliant with the legal standpoints. Igor Yakovlev, the manufacturer of CBD-infused BeezyBeez Honey has started printing a disclaimer stating that his product has not yet been “evaluated or approved” by FDA.

Holm consulted her lawyer and came to the conclusion that FDA has imposed a ban on the addition of CBD to food meant for “interstate commerce.”This is why she feels it is perfectly fine to sell CBD coffee provided the extract is both produced and processed in New York.

Cortland based farmer Allan Gandelman, who founded the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association earlier this year vented out his frustration by saying that, “It is so confusing because you can ask three different attorneys and get three different answers.” He further added that, “so you decide you’re going to blaze a path forward, and produce a product that customers really want, and go for it until the government gets its act together.”

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US Navy Warns Their Sailors Not to Take CBD

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US Navy warns against CBD

Marines and sailors were told by the US Navy to stop and avoid using CBD and other hemp-derived products.

The US Navy legislation includes a clause that forbids servicepeople from using, ingesting, consuming and applying any cannabinoid preparation that is derived from marijuana or hemp.

Despite the legislation signed by President Donald Trump that removes industrial hemp from the controlled substances list of the federal government, Navy officials still affirm that their members should avoid hemp extracts and CBD products.

There is still a lot of controversy regarding CBD and its legality in the US. The Farm Bill signed last December has made most cannabidiol-containing products legal, although the FDA or Food and Drug Administration has reiterated that CBD-infused food is still illegal in the US.

Navy CBD Ban

A spokesperson for the US Navy stated that the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 has not affected in any way the policies of their agency. Despite the law, every product that is derived or made from marijuana or hemp are still very much prohibited.

The Navy stated that hemp-derived products that are commercially available like the CBD oil are not FDA-approved and therefore have no valid claims regarding the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or cure of any illness. They concluded that since the products do not properly list all their ingredients, it is impossible to determine the cannabidiol, THC or other synthetic cannabinoid levels such products may contain.

The agency defines Use as taking any cannabis preparation whether orally ingested, injected intravenously, vaporized/smoked or any other form by which such hemp-derived items may be introduced to the body, which potentially exposes the individual to high psychoactive THC levels.

Risk for Discharge

Navy servicepeople who show positive results for THC tests and other substances that are not prescribed by their doctor could be subject for discharge known as OTH or Other Than Honorable. This label can affect their employment opportunities and benefits as future veterans.

The Navy spokesperson added that every Sailor is responsible for ensuring their diligence in evading accidental or intentional contact with THC or any other controlled substance.

Just last month, police watchdogs from Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board or AZPOST ruled that Arizona cops are allowed to use CBD and hemp-related products.

AZPOST stated on their ruling that the possession or use of over-the-counter CBD-containing products is not related to the illegal possession or use of marijuana, which is a dangerous narcotic drug.

In a report by the Pheonix New Times, it is in AZPOST’s history that OTC CBD use is regarded with the same treatment as in cannabis from a medical dispensary.

In Arizona, cannabis is lawful if used medically, but illegal for recreational purposes.

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Lawmakers Pen Letter to Federal Agencies in Light of Growing CBD Industry

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Lawmakers Pens Letter Federal Agencies

A group of US lawmakers addressed a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS and the Food and Drug Administration heads earlier this week to push for the establishment of regulations for CBD. This is in light of the cannabidiol industry showing great economic potential.

The group led by NY Democrat Rep. Antonio Delgado stated that the potential for a bigger market can affect the pharmaceuticals, paper, textiles, dietary supplements, and other products. Now that hemp and hemp-derived products like cannabidiol are now federally legal following the 2018 Farm Bill.

Delgado, also a member of the House Committee on Small Business, reiterated that the CBD industry also paves way for more employment opportunities and better local economies as more small firms lead the movement.

A hearing was heard by the panel last month to answer the challenges and opportunities for hemp enterprises regarding the federal prohibition framework.

Alongside Delgado are Committee Chairman Nydia Velasquez (Democrat, NY), Rep. Jared Golden (Democrat, ME), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (Democrat, NY) and Rep. Dwight Evans (Democrat, PA) who have all signed the message as well. Velasquez introduced another legislation earlier this week that provides insurance coverage for marijuana businesses.

What Lawmakers Wrote

The group collectively signed a letter that said the country’s farmers are looking forward to growing hemp and are awaiting the federal regulatory framework from the US Department of Agriculture. They also stated that businesses are gearing up on responding to consumer demands for hemp and its derivatives like CBD. However, the failure to clarify rules by the FDA confused businesses, consumers and farmers alike.

Ever since the passage of Farm Bill, the FDA and USDA have encountered pressure by different sectors to establish clear regulations. Last month, FDA said a status update will be released after the rulemaking process is fully expedited.

USDA, on the other hand, released a statement that said legal hemp regulations for cultivation will be given out before the planting season for 2020.

Lawmakers further added that the confusion regarding hemp regulation is hindering the growth and development of CBD businesses.

Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, said that it may take years for CBD to be allowed in food or dietary supplements without congressional intervention. However, the group has declared that these products are already openly sold in commercial stores, pharmacies, restaurants and other places.

Pushing for More Clarity

The group of lawmakers also said that proper regulations will address the confusion on production, quality, labeling, testing, sale and marketing of hemp derivatives like CBD.

While the letter indicates that the group is appreciative of FDA’s efforts to ensure the public’s safety and guard them against unproven claims of other CBD companies, the hemp industry can’t take years of waiting for the agencies to create policies.

They further requested the FDA to develop benchmark quality standards for hemp and hemp derivatives production to harbor trust and satisfaction from consumers so that the industry can mature into a lawful market.

The FDA is expected by the group to release enforcement guidance and interim final ruling on CBD-infused food and dietary supplements by September 30. This is to pave way for a final and legal rule for such products, especially since the Federal government has recognized the hemp industry, and medical marijuana for some states as legal substances.

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CBD Oil Brand Recalled for High THC Level by Irish Government

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Dutch CBD Brand Ordered to Recall

Dutch cannabinoid oil (CBD) brand EUPHORIA was found to have illegal levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the formulation, causing the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to recall their 10ml preparation labeled “Full Spectrum Oil extra strong 20%”.

Hemp and CBD products are legal as per the regulation of the Irish government; however, the formula should not contain THC of more than 0.2% to be viable for sale.

Said oil brand came from the Netherlands and has a best-before date of 31 August in 2020. Distributors and retailers alike are forced to submit to authority and remove the brand from their displays immediately.

CBD is gaining popularity all over the world and is a steadily growing industry due to respective laws being legislated in a number of countries. However, controversy still can’t escape it since it is closely linked to marijuana and THC, which have potent psychoactive elements that can induce drug dependency.

Cannabis Reception in Ireland

In Ireland, cannabis is still a huge topic for debate for supporters and critics. Some people still doubt its efficacy and the presence of side effects that may prove dangerous for a person’s health. The question mark that follows cannabis is heightened because of this recent turn of events.

The country authorized the sale and use of medical cannabis last 2016, but it was met with opposition from a group of medical practitioners. It’s also a hard feat for patients to acquire such since the government failed to retain a central supplier.

To reconcile their lack in implementation, the Ministry of Health headed by Simon Harris recently signed into legislation the 5-year Medical Cannabis Access Program. It aims to push for cannabis treatment when traditional methods fail, according to Harris.

This initiative is designed to legalize medical cannabis prescription made by doctors for various conditions like chemotherapy-sickness, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Like any pharmaceutical product, patients can now present their Rx to drug stores and be given said medicine.

The program also involves the inventory-building of cannabis products, with Tilray being one of the international cannabis companies to successfully export their medical cannabis products to Ireland.

In relation to their first shipment, Tilray has pledged its commitment to providing for the subsequent demands of cannabis products once approved by the government. Their goal is to be the main supplier of the access program, enabling safe and reasonable access to medical cannabis

The company is currently at dialogue with the Irish authorities to shed some insight on the implementation of the newly penned program.

Unfortunately, Tilray failed to secure a spot in Italian cannabis export.

Cannabis in Neighboring Italy

Italy snubbed Tilray and two other international cannabis companies in favor of Aurora Cannabis (Canada) to fulfill the surprising shortage in production at the Florence facility. Italian Ministry of Defense further revealed that Tilray (Portugal) filed incorrect paper works and missed the set deadline, disqualifying them from the roster.

Albeit Italy’s willingness to pay for medical cannabis (the 400-kg cannabis deal cost them €569,000 (US$638,000), debates are also going over the country on whether low-THC “cannabis light” should be sold legally. The court ruled to ban the sale of such products, but enterprise owners fought back.

While it might be a phenomenal story to follow, Italians still appreciate cannabis products such as the CBD oil as an adjunct to medical treatments. Italy, including the Netherlands and Germany, are still the top three European countries with the strong medicinal cannabis industry.

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