Skip to main content

SC Labs, Leafly.

Testing failures highlight the need for national regulations on hemp

As federal and state governments tackle the legalization of hemp as a distinct product from cannabis, the safety of the products produced from hemp isn’t getting the same attention as those produced from THC-based cannabis. While every crop requires a cannabinoid test to establish its identity as hemp rather than marijuana, the federal government and all but a handful of states have been silent.

In response to the 2018 farm bill, the USDA and the DEA have weighed in with interim rules establishing a system for the production of massive amounts of hemp-derived CBD and other cannabinoids. This year will be a record crop and all the cannabinoids derived from the hemp will pour into innumerable products, many of which will be marketed as medicines, yet the FDA has yet to propose any safety requirements for those products.

The testing suggests that unregulated, and dirty, cannabis from unknown sources is reaching store shelves labeled as hemp, posing a serious safety risk to consumers.

However, a handful of states have regulations on the books that will require some testing of hemp-based CBD products. Notably absent is California, where a bill that would have regulated hemp like other cannabis products failed during the previous legislative…