As consumers continue to show interest in cannabis products, mass retailers are embracing the products on a limited basis. CVS Pharmacy announced in March 2019 an agreement to sell Curaleaf topical CBD products in 800 of its stores across 10 states, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. Walgreens also announced at the end of March it will sell CBD products in cream, patch, and spray forms in 1,500 of its stores in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana.Continue reading
On December 12, 2018, the U.S. Congress passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, otherwise known as the Farm Bill. The bill legalizes the production and transportation of hemp and hemp products, among other things. The Farm Bill has been sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign off on it before the end of the year. Marketers of health and beauty products containing Cannabidiol (CBD), which can be sourced from hemp, have anxiously awaited passage of the Farm Bill in the hopes that it will expand the U.S. market for consumer CBD products. However, this market is still burgeoning, and uncertainty about the legality of marketing CBD products nationwide continues to perplex marketers and retailers.
The Farm Bill defines “hemp” as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” While the definition of hemp will include any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, it retains prior regulatory limits used to define industrial hemp by limiting permissible levels of THC concentrations to no more than 0.3%. Hemp and hemp products that meet this definition will be exempt from the definition of “marihuana” (or marijuana) under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, thereby removing it from the list of prohibited Schedule I drugs.
As of today, every province in Canada and eight U.S. states have legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational use. Other U.S. states are expected to follow suit in the short-term, seeing value in its therapeutic effects as well as tax revenues from the legal sale of such products. In fact, New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy announced he may sign a bill to legalize cannabis use by the end of October if state lawmakers can agree on an acceptable tax rate, ranging anywhere from 10% to 25%. The Trump administration announced last week that it intends to pursue legislation lifting the federal ban on cannabis after the mid-term election on November 6, 2018 and some predict this could happen as soon as Spring 2019.Continue reading