This Week in CBD: October 25, 2019

Athletes, take note! This week, USA Triathlon became the first national governing body in the Olympics system to form a partnership with a CBD company. The organization announced on Monday that it will be partnering with Colorado CBD manufacturer Pure Spectrum.

Rocky Harris, the CEO at USA Triathlon, stressed the company’s testing practices as a key reason they decided to pursue the partnership.

“They apply strict third-party testing protocols to assure the products are pure,” he said, adding, “They are completely transparent by posting batch-specific test results for every product they sell.”

CBD is now permitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but THC remains on the banned list. This can pose problems for athletes who use full-spectrum CBD products with low levels of THC — and makes third party testing vitally important.

This Week’s Top CBD Deals

With hemp farmers and processors waiting impatiently for federal guidelines, a USDA official stated late last week that final rules for hemp regulation will be available within the next couple of weeks.

When pressed for a timeline by Senator Joni Ernst in a hearing before the Senate Agricultural Committee, USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky responded:

“We would expect to be issuing the interim final rules here within the next couple of weeks,” he said. “We have been in the interagency clearance process now for over 90 days, working with some of our federal colleagues through the [White House Office of Management and Budget] process to get input for there.”

With many states beginning new hemp programs, there has been increasing impatience over the lack of federal guidelines to follow. The timeline has shifted before (with previous indications that guidelines would be ready in August). The most recent statement indicated that regulations would be ready this fall in time for the 2020 planting season.

A recent investigation conducted by the Associated Press has revealed the story of Janell Thompson, the woman behind a company called Yolo Vape that has been linked to several vaping illnesses.

While lawmakers struggled in 2018 to find the source of Yolo products, a bookkeeper for the company filed a complaint with California’s Department of Industrial Revelations. She also tipped the Utah Poison Control Center about Thompson’s involvement in Yolo.

But it was synthetic cannabinoids added to Black Magic and Black Diamond vapes that eventually caught up with Thompson. After those vape products sickened over 40 people in North Carolina, investigators were able to connect her company to the outbreak.

According to the AP investigation, prosecutors also linked Thompson to dealers charged in New York, where she pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana and a money laundering charge. She now faces up to 40 years in prison.

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of public interest in CBD. But new research published in the journal JAMA Network Open this week shows just how dramatically that interest has increased in the last few years.

Between 2016 and 2018, the number of Google searches for the terms “CBD” or “cannabidiol” spiked 126 percent. Between 2017 and 2018, those numbers were up again by 160 percent. And with 6.4 million Google searches regarding CBD logged in April 2019 alone, the expectation is that there will be an 118 percent increase in searches again this year.

In fact, Americans’ interest in CBD surpasses nearly all other health products or topics. The study was performed in the framework of a public health perspective, and the authors express concern that interest is outpacing scientific data.

The new study concludes that scientific investigation into CBD should be a public health priority and that standardization of manufacturing safety practices and marketing practices is a necessity.

With little fanfare, the USDA has updated guidance on its website to clarify rules around importing hemp into the US.

Previously, the agency only provided guidance on importing seeds into the country, but they have now outlined the procedure for importing whole hemp plants.

Hemp plants may now be imported from Canada if they are “accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from Canada’s [national plant protection organization] to verify the origin of the plant and to confirm no plant pests are detected.”

Hemp plants imported from other countries require a further permit process.

Meanwhile, a California CBD manufacturer says hemp seizures are still taking place at ports, borders, and airports in the US.

Innovative Nutraceuticals is suing the government for seizing their hemp when it was in transit from Spain to its Lake Elsinore location.

The federal government has asked the court to dismiss much of the company’s case, but Innovative Nutraceuticals stated in a response this week that customs officials “have made it clear that if (manufacturers) import these lawful products into the United States, they will continue to seize the property and impose fines and penalties.”

“These are violations of the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Michael Chernis, Innovative Nutraceuticals’ lawyer.

If you live in Miami Beach, Florida, you might want to think twice before smoking hemp flower in public. A municipal ordinance was unanimously passed last week to outlaw public smoking of both marijuana and hemp.

When hemp was legalized in the state in early July 2019, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced it would no longer prosecute most minor marijuana charges because the substance is difficult to distinguish from hemp.

Under the new law, public marijuana or hemp consumption would be subject to a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in county jail.

CBD beverages are about to become a lot more prevalent north of the border. Molson Coors announced a December date to roll out a line of CBD-infused beverages in Canada this week. Called Flow Glow, the beverages will come in two flavors and contain 10 milligrams of CBD each.

For this venture, Molson is partnering with Hexo, a Quebec cannabis producer.

The new line of beverages will be competing with Truss Beverage Co., which will also be launching CBD drinks through Labatt breweries of Canada.