In mild of the current federal legalization of commercial hemp, Washington lawmakers are taking a tough take a look at the state’s hemp program. Senators Bob Hasegawa (D) of Beacon Hill, Steve Conway (D) of Tacoma, and Karen Keiser (D) of Kent just lately introducing Senate Invoice 5719. The said objective of SB 5719 is as follows:

Authorize the rising of hemp as a authorized, agricultural exercise on this state. Hemp is an agricultural product which may be legally grown, produced, processed, possessed, transferred, commercially bought, and traded. Hemp and hemp merchandise produced in accordance with this chapter could also be transferred and bought throughout the state, exterior of this state, and internationally. Nothing on this chapter is meant to forestall or restrain commerce on this state involving hemp or hemp merchandise produced lawfully beneath the legal guidelines of one other state or nation.”

The invoice requires Washington adjust to the 2018 Farm Invoice, which eliminated industrial hemp from the federal Managed Substances Act, and which offers for state-and tribe-level applications for the cultivation of commercial hemp. As such, the Washington State Division of Agriculture (“WSDA”) would wish to submit a plan to US Division of Agriculture (“USDA”) pursuant to the 2018 Farm Invoice. The plan should tackle licensing, THC testing, enforcement, and a bunch of different matters required beneath federal regulation.

It’s too early to inform whether or not SB 5719 will in the end turn into regulation, nevertheless it’s price keeping track of at this level (and will probably be lined in our upcoming free CBD Webinar on February 21 at 12:00 PST). Listed below are among the key provisions:

Meals and Hemp

SB 5719 would repeal Washington’s Industrial Hemp Analysis Program (RCW 15.120 et seq.) fully. This program was created beneath the 2014 Farm Invoice, which was pretty mild on particulars and restricted to hemp cultivation for “analysis” functions. Washington’s hemp program is pretty restricted and has by no means actually taken off prefer it has in Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon. Washington’s hemp regulation can also be complicated due to RCW 15.120.020 which prohibits the “manufacturing of any a part of industrial hemp, besides seed, as meals, extract, oil, cake, focus, resin, or different preparation for topical use, oral consumption, or inhalation by people[.]” This provision solely refers back to the manufacturing of hemp, not the sale of hemp merchandise, together with broadly standard hemp-derived CBD (“Hemp-CBD”) merchandise. Nevertheless, it has additionally stunted the retail sale of hemp merchandise meant for human consumption beneath the concept that if it’s unlawful to supply hemp for human consumption additionally it is authorized to promote hemp merchandise for human consumption. This is able to not be a problem if SB 5719 passes. Nevertheless, SB 5719 does include some ambiguity.

Below, SB 5719 “CBD and CBD merchandise derived from hemp are thought-about a meals product that have to be examined and handled in accordance with different agricultural crop derived meals merchandise for human and animal consumption.” This might result in confusion. For instance, a Hemp-CBD topical cream would nonetheless need to be “examined and handled” as meals. That’s inconsistent with FDA regulation which treats meals and cosmetics in another way. Moreover, what does it imply to “deal with” one thing as meals? I learn it to confer with issues like manufacturing, labeling, and storing Hemp-CBD, however I could possibly be improper.

Licensing and Seeds

The WSDA would subject hemp producer licenses. Present hemp licensees may switch into Washington’s new program as soon as it’s up and operating.  Hemp producers will solely be allowed to make use of seeds listed in SB 5719 or permitted by the WSDA. The invoice additionally comprises a intelligent provision that distinguishes seed varieties primarily based on THC proportion. Sure seed “cultivar” (i.e., “a variation of the plant Hashish sativa L. that has been developed via cultivation by selective breeding”) will probably be exempt from THC testing. WSDA can have the authority to approve seed cultivar and decide whether or not THC testing is required. Cultivar that had been introduced into Washington state earlier than January 1, 2022 as long as “the state has planting, progress, and stability data overlaying at the very least three years.”

Regardless that seeds will probably be regulated pretty robustly, SB 5719 doesn’t point out the necessity for seed-to-sale traceability because the WSDA is not going to be accountable for figuring out whether or not a hemp product was derived from an permitted hemp cultivar.

Regulatory Authority

Although SB 5719 is a significant overhaul, WSDA would nonetheless have authority over hemp within the Evergreen State. Each marijuana and hemp are methods to explain hashish so it’s pure to marvel what’s the LCB’s function in regulating hemp beneath SB 5719? SB 5719 particularly states that “all guidelines referring to hemp, together with any testing of hemp, are exterior the management of the [LCB].” Nevertheless, the WSDA is remitted to seek the advice of with the LCB to determine guidelines and insurance policies to forestall cross pollination between marijuana and hemp crops. Within the occasion documented cross-pollination erupts between two farms rising hemp or marijuana, the farm working first would be the victor. This primary-in-time regulation would give marijuana farmers a large upper-hand, at the very least initially, as Washington’s marijuana program is older and far bigger than the hemp program. The WSDA and state lawmakers will undertake a process power for figuring out the necessity for crop insurance coverage.

Backside line

SB 5719, if handed in its present kind, would drastically change Washington’s hemp legal guidelines. Just like the 2018 Farm Invoice, it’s a way more industrial pleasant scheme. When you agree or disagree with the present model of SB 5719, you possibly can submit feedback right here.

If SB 5719 turns into regulation, it is going to take impact instantly. On condition that there are a number of time-sensitive provisions within the invoice, it is smart to begin planning now. We’ll regulate this and different hemp-bills in Washington and different states.


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