Protect Artisanal Hemp Farming

In spring of 2019 about 100 small farmers in Massachusetts were granted licenses to grow hemp. Almost all of them grew a crop to be processed for hemp-derived cannabinoids (ie. “CBD”). On June 12th, after farmers had already invested in and planted their crop, they learned from a policy statement that Governor Baker’s administration is prohibiting the sale of foods and other “consumables” containing “CBD” as well as banning the sale of whole flower. These policies created a regulatory mess that changes from town to town, and only hurts small farmers, local businesses, and consumers.

Licensed Massachusetts farmers and manufacturers are held to the highest standards in the country. Meanwhile, unregulated products remain available in gas stations, on the internet, and across the border in every neighboring state.

The Commonwealth today continues to defy the federal government on “marijuana,” but for some reason the administration is cracking down on its non-psychoactive cousin (now a federally legal crop), threatening a growing local agricultural economy. As you read this, farmers are unable to sell their harvests and local businesses are mired in regulatory confusion. Hemp has the capacity to bolster our dwindling agricultural sector, support local industry, and save small farms, but policies like this could tank the industry before it gets established.

Luckily, Massachusetts House bill H.4001, introduced by Rep. Mark Cusack of Braintree, addresses these issues, and ensures that hemp, in all its parts, is treated as the agricultural product it is. It makes it clear that hemp derived CBD is not an adulterant and can be added to personal care, food and pet products. The Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy has reviewed this bill, heard extensive testimony, and passed it favorably out of committee. Now we need the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the State Senate to take up this bill and pass it swiftly.

Get involved: Contact your state legislators let them know we need them to pass Rep. Cusack’s hemp bill (H.4001) before it is too late.

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