Amid the fast-growing popularity of CBD products nationwide, Virginia has recently taken a large step to become a regional and potentially national player in the hemp industry. Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralf Northam has just signed Senate Bill 918 that will classify CBD products as food and they will, in turn be regulated as such.
Why the change in regulation?
Across the US, and several other countries, products derived from the cannabis plant are being reclassified from controlled substances to medicinal, and in this case food groups. To understand the type of regulation applied to CBD products, we need to broaden our scope a bit and look at where CBD products come from. Cannabis is a plant that has long been cultivated on multiple continents. It is often known by two other names, marijuana and hemp. Although many understand these names to apply to different species of the plant, they are actually just a descriptive term for the level of THC and cannabinoids found within.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
THC is a chemical found in the cannabis plant, because it is known to have psychoactive properties, in recent history it has been used recreationally. However, THC is only one of several of these cannabinoids and recently many people have become very interested in other cannabinoids, such as CBD. If a plant has less than 0.3% THC content it is considered, by the federal government to be hemp, and legal, and if it contains more, it’s marijuana, and is federally prohibited. However, in recent years many states have taken their own measures to define and regulate this plant and it has become the focal point of many studies about its beneficial properties.
Why Virginia? Why Now?
Virginia has long been at the heart of the tobacco industry, however with tobacco use in steady decline, the government of the commonwealth is eager to explore other opportunities. Kyle Shreve, executive director of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, has noted that this product is in high demand by consumers and because it’s not illegal there needs to be regulation.1 Furthermore, Virginia is just right state to establish itself as a major producer.
What do these new laws mean?
The biggest issue facing CBD consumers today is the lack of oversight and regulation of CBD products. In states with more relaxed laws about cannabis, consumers can buy products in dispensaries, however many people opt to buy online, as is the trend with most retail goods. It’s very hard for consumers to know whether the CBD products they buy online are safe. This new development in Virginia will add rules about labeling products, how batches of hemp are tested, and especially identify contaminants that may be harmful to consumers.
What you should know!
At Santtam CBD, we take this issue most seriously. We are fanatical about dedicating our time and resources to vetting only the most reputable companies to be our partners. We are very excited about these new developments in Virginia and will make sure to keep you, our valued customers, up to date on all the news about what these new regulations mean to you, and how they measure up against those of other states.