Massachusetts Businesses Frustrated by Ambiguous CBD Guidelines

August 7, 2019 15:00:11

Many farmers and business owners in Massachusetts say that the recent policy statement issued about hemp and its derivatives is very bad for business. Under that policy, some hemp products, such as food infused with CBD, are banned.

This policy, which was announced in June, casts a shadow on the farmers and the local businesses that were hoping to get a slice of the money available in the booming hemp-CBD industry.

Farmers are concerned that they may be unable to recoup what they have invested in growing their hemp crop if the state clamps down on the largest market that would have created demand for their produce.

Businesses were also alarmed by the letters which were sent to them by the Northampton Department of Public Health. In those letters, the business owners were advised to voluntarily pull down a variety of CBD products on their shelves before the state regulators act against them.

The businesses have reacted differently to these letters. For example, some have vowed to take a stand against this directive and will continue to sell the banned products until the state clearly explains why those particular products cannot be sold.

Others have opted to obey the directive and many shops can be seen with signs indicating that if a customer buys one product, he or she will be given another one at no cost. Such businesses are trying to recoup a fraction of what they invested in their stock before those products are seized by the state.

The confusion gets worse when you look at what is happening at the local authority level. Some jurisdictions have decided to give businesses up to next year to sell off their current stock and then stop carrying CBD-infused food. Others have given local businesses three months to clear their stock while others haven’t taken any enforcement action against the banned products.

These differences in the way the law is being enforced across the state have made life very difficult for businesses and farmers to predict what will come next.

This uncertainty is made worse by the fact that the FDA hasn’t yet released its CBD rules, and many states, including Massachusetts, are waiting on the federal agency to show its hand before they enact their own regulations.

For Massachusetts farmers and businesses, salvation may lie in the hands of the state legislature where a bill was introduced to regulate hemp products like CBD-infused food items.

Analysts are convinced that CBD industry actors like IONIC Brands Corp. (CSE: IONC) (OTC: IONKF) and Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) may be impatient to see the FDA rules since this would give the U.S. CBD industry a clear direction of what the future holds, from a regulatory perspective.

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