If AB-228 – Food, Beverages, and Cosmetics: Industrial Hemp Products – Passes, Then What?

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AB-228 – Food, Beverage, and Cosmetic Adulterants: Industrial Hemp Products – has generated substantial buzz ever since Assembly Member Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry introduced it back in January 2019. And rightfully so; if AB-228 passes, it will likely open the door to increased shelf space in major grocery stores and retail outlets for food, beverage and cosmetic products containing industrial hemp.  

Specifically, AB-228 states in relevant part that:

a food, beverage, or cosmetic is not adulterated by the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp, and would prohibit restrictions on the sale of food, beverages, or cosmetics that include industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp-based solely on the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp.

AB-228 Food, beverage, and cosmetic adulterants: industrial hemp products.

In other words, if AB-228 is enacted, manufacturers and retailers may lawfully manufacture and sell products that contain CBD, and other hemp derivatives. Additionally, the bill permits MAUCRSA licensees to manufacture, distribute, and sell hemp products.

AB-228 Specifies Compliance Requirements for Products Containing Hemp

While this language seems to open the floodgates to would-be manufacturers and retailers of hemp products, AB-228 also creates several new crucial requirements for food, beverages, and cosmetic products that contain hemp:

  • Manufacturers must be able to demonstrate that the hemp they use comes from a state or country that has an established and approved industrial hemp program that inspects or regulates hemp under a food safety program or equivalent criteria to ensure safety for human consumption; 
  • Labels must include a specified warning and are prohibited from advertising or marketing of health-related statements that are untrue or misleading regarding the consumption of products containing hemp; 
  • All raw hemp must be accompanied by a certificate of analysis from an independent testing laboratory that demonstrates that the tested batch does not contain contaminants that are unsafe for human consumption. 

Ultimately, AB-228 does not give carte blanche to all would-be manufacturers and retailers of products containing hemp. Instead, AB-228 merely states that restrictions on hemp products shall not be based solely on the inclusion of hemp.  

If AB-228 passes participants in the hemp products supply chain must still comply with all other applicable law as well as the requirements contained within the bill. 

If you are a current or potential manufacturer or retailer of products containing industrial hemp derivatives and would like to get a proactive head start on compliance with the new requirements in AB-228, please contact the compliance team at Rogoway Law Group.

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