Vote Hemp - California Alert

CA Dept. of Public Health issues misguided statement on “hemp foods”

Vote Hemp engaging to resolve and continues working to pass SB 1409

As you may know, California’s Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued a misguided FAQ stating that hemp derived CBD and extracts are prohibited food additives in the state, echoing the FDA’s position. It should be noted that CDPH’s policy in this area is in conflict with many other states that have authorized the cultivation of industrial hemp and its use as a food, food additive and food supplement. Vote Hemp believes the FAQ is fundamentally flawed and in conflict with state law.

Proposition 64 authorized the cultivation of industrial hemp, independent from cannabis, and in doing so approved the use of any part of the plant. – California Health and Safety Code § 11018.5.
CBD in and of itself is not scheduled under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Rather, it is a controlled substance when it is sourced from marijuana, but not from industrial hemp.
The arbitrary prohibition of industrial hemp derived CBD in food products will have a chilling effect on the hemp cultivation industry at the very moment the industry is beginning its launch in California.
Industrial Hemp is treated as an agricultural product in California and, as such, is regulated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Vote Hemp and other stakeholders sent a coalition letter to CDPH in strong opposition to the FAQ.

For over a decade, Vote Hemp has worked in California to pass hemp legislation. These efforts continue this year through Vote Hemp’s sponsorship of SB 1409 that will improve the existing state hemp statute. SB 1409 accomplishes several objectives, including:

  • authorizing the California Department of Food and Agriculture to run a pilot program under Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill to ensure the registration program is compliant with federal law;
  • removing a number unnecessary law enforcement-minded provisions to help streamline production
  • other technical amendments needed to align existing state law with language that was passed by voters in Proposition 64

SB 1409 passed out of the Senate and Assembly and is now sitting on the Governor’s desk.

Vote Hemp continues to look for opportunities to further advance the industry and legislation in the area of hemp processing and registration will most likely be brought forward in a subsequent session.