Gavin Newsom Passes AB-45, Legalizing Smokable Hemp & Hemp-Based Food Products

Gavin Newsom Passes AB-45, Legalizing Smokable Hemp & Hemp-Based Food Products - Marijuana Packaging

Wednesday, October 6, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 45, establishing a veritable regulatory foundation “for the manufacture and sale of hemp-derived products in the state, including smokable hemp” and hemp-based food and drink sales. This new legislation dramatically favors those who want to take some hemp, wrap it in some rollings papers, and enjoy the medicinal effects of CBD-rich hemp rather than getting stoned from THC-heavy cannabis. Once signed, the bill went into effect immediately as an emergency statute.

Although CBD items turn up in supermarkets, they are deemed “adulterated” under current California law, defined as the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law. AB-45 will bring clarity to that situation and to the hemp industry. But more importantly, this will reassure hemp consumers that products are independently tested and labeled correctly.

Recently purchased by Kadenwood Brands, EcoGen BioSciences is the “largest producer of raw hemp ingredients in the business,” and will be heavily impacted by the new regulations. “AB-45 provides a model for hemp framework across the United States that we believe is necessary to move the industry forward,” Garrett Bain, President of EcoGen BioSciences, expressed to High Times. “As California takes the lead on clarifying the requirements for hemp to be included in food products and dietary supplements, we anticipate seeing other states adopt this model as well,” he continued.  

Other influential advocates for hemp celebrated the bill’s passing, as well. Blake Schroeder, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc., expressed to High Times that, “California has been an industry leader in both cannabis and hemp throughout the years but not without its shortcomings and challenges.” He continued, “As pioneers of California’s legal hemp industry, we have witnessed the many back and forth debates with respect to hemp and CBD, even after its federal legality was outlined by the 2018 Farm Bill.” 

The CEO also noted, “We welcome the new focus on safety and consistency set by AB-45,” which the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) sent an immediate alert about to hemp businesses that will eventually be impacted. The new piece of legislation plainly permits the sale of hemp-based extracts that comply with testing and labeling standards – especially CBD. CCIA Executive Director and Assemblymember Lindsay Robinson said, “We cannot thank the author enough for her tireless and unparalleled work to get comprehensive hemp regulations passed.”

The bill was written by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguilar-Curry, representing the 4th California Assembly District, who said, “The product is everywhere. You can walk into a World Market, a health food store, a pet store, and you’ll see CBD there.” She went on to conclude that, “There’s no labeling; it doesn’t tell you if it’s safe. So, I want to make sure that people know what they’re purchasing.” This legislation is a massive accomplishment for cannabis (specifically hemp) reform and the cannabis community, in general. Bills such as AB-45 reveal that legalization across the board isn’t as far away as we perceive it to be.

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