It seems like every branch of the government wants to have a say in the hemp industry. The USDA's interim rule will go into effect in November 2020. The FDA and DEA are imposing more regulations on the market. And to top it off, every state has its own laws and guidelines (or lack thereof) on how hemp should be regulated.
While the industry does need guidance, this hodgepodge of rules that sometimes counteract each other can make in confusing for consumers. It's like taking NyQuil and chugging a RedBull. And to top it off, it can seem like the rules are changing nearly every week.
Let's take Kansas as an example. While Kansas allows the sale of industrial hemp products, House Bill 2167 outlines several distinct products that are excluded. At the time of this writing, teas, cigars, cigarettes, and other products are banned under Kansas state law.
Laws like these can create a minefield for consumers, especially with more and more people opting to purchase online rather than in brick and mortar stores. Companies either have to stay on top of industrial hemp laws in all fifty states or risk the trust that the consumer knows the laws in their state.
While more zealous consumers may keep up to date with industry regulations, most consumers rely on the company they are purchasing from to know the laws concerning their products. Kansas' hemp product guidelines are just one example of the minefield consumers have to navigate through.
Right now, there are conflicting laws on state and federal levels that can lead to confusion for consumers. Without clear direction and education, consumers can purchase a product online that may be seized in the mail. Companies should focus on educating consumers and staying on top of current laws for all states. While this does seem like a massive project to take on and maintain, it can help avoid legal problems down the line and increase brand reputation.
If you are a consumer, always make yourself aware of the laws in your state. If you have questions, reach out to the branch of government that regulates industrial hemp laws for your state.
Hemp laws are changing in the United States at a rapid rate, turning the product market into a minefield for consumers. It's up to CBD companies to help alleviate the struggle by staying up to date on laws and helping educate consumers. Industrial Hemp is in a wild west phase, but with education and involvement by dedicated experts, hemp can become an industry with countless benefits.