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MASS Hemp Coalition Wants Clarification on Hemp Laws

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MASS Hemp Coalition wants Clarification

The recent policy announcements and the FDA’s sturdy position regarding the legality of CBD products have put hemp farmers in a difficult situation. Massachusetts hemp farmers are now supporting a recent bill regarding the clarification of CBD products sales. They want the state to understand and protect the hemp businesses from falling. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is extracted from hemp plants. CBD has been labeled as non-psychoactive and is thought to deliver some benefits without causing serious side effects in some patients. CBD containing products are not regulated directly, and they are largely sold online. Retailers carrying these products do not usually get in trouble with local health or police departments.

MDAR on Hemp Regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources regulates hemp growth throughout the state. They issued guidance which stated that the sale of CBD containing food products, animal feed, and dietary supplements or any products making false therapeutic claims are considered illegal. Mark Cusack, former Marijuana Policy Committee chairman representative issued a bill that declared that CBD containing products should not be considered as adulterants and controlled substances, and should be considered as foods. The bill (HD 4339) would allow CBD products derived from hemp to be sold and also made in Massachusetts. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Rules on Monday.

Policy director of Northeast Organic Farming Association Marty Dagoberto mentioned that this bill is a great starting point to address the issues associated with the guidance published by MDAR. Massachusetts stakeholders, MASS Hemp Coalition and NOFA/Mass chapter could consult together and contribute strong recommendations to support the bill, so that the hemp economy can be protected, thus ensuring the protection of hemp farmers.

Growing Support of The Mass Hemp Coalition

More than 100 farmers are licensed to grow hemp in the state, but only one is responsible for hemp-derived CBD production according to the coalition. Non-profit organizations such as the US Hemp Roundtable support hemp industry at the federal level. They said that Cusack’s bill could provide strong hemp and CBD protection, as it reflects some important concepts discussed in the Roundtable’s Model State Bill. MASS Hemp Coalition wants to share recommendations with the Cannabis Policy Committee and Cusack directly, but they also aim to seek further protection for small businesses, who largely rely on uncontrolled competition of online sellers and local boards of health.

The aim is to seek stronger protection for state-wide business and retail quickly without damaging the current progress, and the Bill HD 4339 just might be the answer, according to Laura Boehner, co-founder of a CBD company, The Healing Rose in Newburyport. A few of the coalition members are already affected by the laws, thus a community-wide approach is immediately needed to protect local retailers and small businesses.

State Board of Pharmacy Speaks Up

The MDAR guidance originated after the FDA stated that CBD cannot be used in the food and dietary supplements, which was backed by the state Department of Public Health. The Department prohibited sales of CBD oils derived from hemp. However, the coalition is united against the guidance. The Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy issued notes to license holders, advising them to review MDAR and FDA statements and to question agencies about CBD product sales. Hemp seeds, proteins, hemp fiber derived clothing are currently approved for sale throughout the state.

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Movements

Borderland Businesses Experience the CBD Wellness Boom

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Borderland Businesses Experience the CBD Wellness Boom

Nanette Lattimer-Gamboa relayed to KVIA TV how her job as a licensed massage therapist was at risk after sustaining rheumatoid arthritis, which has affected her hands. She told the news outlet how her condition has almost prompted her to quit her work due to intense pain.

Lattimer-Gamboa opted for a natural cure and ventured on CBD or cannabidiol for her arthritis. Later on, the pain she felt every after massages have considerably lessened and the inflammation more bearable after using CBD.

Starting a CBD business

After her remarkable pain relief, Lattimer-Gamboa got the idea to incorporate CBD with her products. CBD has made its way to the wellness market in the form of lotions and creams, and the most popular cannabidiol product that is the CBD oil.

Nanette Lattimer-Gamboa, with her partner and Co-Owner Anthony Rincon of Infused Massage & Wellness, decided to infuse CBD oil into their massage and facial. Rincon stated that there is a special feeling in receiving a CBD-infused massage as opposed to rubbing it into oneself.

CBD is a derivative compound industrial hemp, a cousin plant of marijuana. Both plant varieties have the same source plant species, which is the Cannabis sativa L. that most people only associate with the illegal substance. However, CBD does not cause a high, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the active compound in cannabis with psychotropic effects.

In Texas, CBD is legal and may contain THC as long as it does not go over the limit of 0.3% THC content.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved only one CBD-containing drug as of writing. Epidiolex, the medication used to treat intractable epilepsy, is the only cannabidiol drug that can be prescribed by a doctor. This means that CBD products in stores still have questionable legality at the federal level, especially those that are ingested.

Calls for more CBD research

José Rivera, UTEP School of Pharmacy founding dean, said that more CBD research should be done. He stated that products, especially those from the internet, are not equally made. Many of such items have various claims about ingredients and therapeutic effect.

Rivera further said that what’s on a product’s label does not necessarily include what is actually in the product. Minimal studies on CBD may confuse many consumers.

Anthony Rincon noted that their town, El Paso, is small and still holds a lot of stigma regarding CBD and its related products.

For other users, CBD is allegedly life-changing for them. Ciara Horton, a CBD user, claims to go for two CBD-infused massages per month to manage her anxiety and relieve pain. She stated that she is happy to have discovered such massages that give her both relief and enjoyment.

For Lattimer-Gamboa, being able to aid people like Horton makes her feel good and gives an avenue to inform more people about CBD. She is delighted to change people’s perspective of the said substance.

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Oregon Farms Allot More Acres for Hemp Growing

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Oregon Farmers CBD

Oregon farmers are increasing their acreage for hemp cultivation, with the crop growing as much as six times in number from last year, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture.

Hemp growing is new territory, yet many farmers are looking to cash in on the crop’s popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law by President Donald Trump last December.

Growing hemp: a gamble?

Kruger’s Farm from Sauvie Island has allotted 22 acres for their hemp crops, along with full farm plots of pumpkins and corn.

Don Kruger, the owner of Kruger’s farm, stated that they are growing hemp specifically for CBD.

Aside from their currently planted hemp, Kruger’s Farm also has some 35 acres of leasable space for hemp growing. The lot sits nestled between the farm’s famous corn maze and pumpkin patch.

Kruger noted how a lot of people had mistaken their hemp for marijuana, which is also a variety of the same source plant, Cannabis sativa L.

The confusion is because looks and smells like cannabis, but there is a crucial difference that sets them apart. Marijuana has high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the compound responsible for the psychoactive effect of the substance. Hemp, on the other hand, has lower amounts of THC.

Kruger further stated that a hemp field might yield as much as $40,000 for an acre, compared to corn, which averages only $1,000 per acre. He added that earning this kind of money is simply a significant opportunity not be passed upon.

However, Kruger also noted that growing hemp does not guarantee more cash influx. He believes that the right timing for optimal content against natural factors like mold-inducing rain is needed, and can be considered a gamble for farmers.

More on hemp and CBD

Industrial hemp is a legal crop under federal law, permitting farmers to grow, harvest, and process the said plant. Amidst the controversy surrounding it because of its close relation to marijuana, farmers are taking advantage of the hemp industry boom.

In Oregon, state license for hemp growers grew from only 7,808 acres in 2018 to as much as 46,219 acres this year. The state has given 1,342 farmers the permit to grow hemp in June. The USDA further solidified the legality of hemp by issuing a statement last May that growers can export hemp across different states, which is based on the 2018 Farm Bill.

The establishment of hemp as just a crop has given rise to many innovations, particularly in deriving products from it. For instance, cannabidiol or CBD is extracted from hemp and is infused in many products, including oils, tinctures, lotions, bath bombs, pet care items and more.

The CBD industry is enjoying significant growth since the legalization of hemp. Users are praising it for being a natural remedy for many health conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and even severe diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s disease. However, most of these claims are still unfounded.

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CBD Products Sell Well in Logansport

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CBD Products Sell Well in Logansport

Business for CBD manufacturers and retailers is doing well in Logansport, following the legalization of the said substance in Indiana last July of 2017 for the treatment of epilepsy.

Gov Eric Holcomb signed a measure in 2018 to clarify the rules for possessing, buying, and selling CBD oil in the state, provided that the product has less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active compound in cannabis responsible for the high that users experience.

Following the measure, hemp CBD businesses in Logansport increased in number.

CBD business in Logansport

CBD products such as coffees and teas are sold at Judy’s GoodLife Emporium, located at 325 E. Market Street, and it’s probably the longest CBD retailer in Logansport. Diana Brown, the manager, said that the store opened four years ago.

They initially did not have a lot of sales because people are unaware of CBD, up until the controversy surrounding its legality was picked up by the media.

As soon as it happened, Brown recalled hardly keeping up with consumer demand because they were the only ones in town selling CBD products.

There was a time they removed their cannabidiol products from the shelves because of the attorney general’s take on the law, causing the dispute to gain traction and causing doubts. Judy’s GoodLife only resumed their sale of CBD products after the governor signed the measure in 2018 that stipulated regulations for CBD in Indiana.

Brown said that excellent products should have a QR code, which is the small black-and-white square that can be scanned by a smartphone, leading to important information regarding the product like specific batch, source, third-party lab testing, and manufacturing details.

Judy’s sales slowed down as more businesses enter the CBD market, Brown noted. People are becoming more educated about cannabis, which only has 20 years of scientific study. As soon as science could catch up, Brown believes that the industry will continue to grow.

However, the FDA’s decision on CBD products can make or break the market, she added.

Many other businesses in Logansport that sell CBD-infused items notice how the oil is the most in-demand product, and as well as capsules, gummies, and lotions, too. Prices for CBD oil can be around $3 to $150, depending on the amount.

Use of CBD

Brown stated that most buyers use CBD to relieve pain more than any other health condition. However, she also noticed that the reasons for buying are varied, which prompts them and other sellers to take care not to sound like they are handing out medical advice.

Other medical issues that people use CBD are anxiety, seizures, and sleeping disorders. They also noted some patients sent by their doctors to get CBD oil for autism. Also, a lot of people buy CBD-infused vape kits to get over cigarette withdrawal.

Brown further added that people should not expect CBD to be useful for their problem. Its interaction with other medicines is also a cause for concern. Brown stated that CBD is not a magical cure-all that benefits everyone.

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