Topics: Cannabis, News, Press

Assembly Majority Leader Aguiar-Curry Bill To Increase Enforcement Against Intoxicating Hemp Passes Assembly Judiciary Committee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D- Winters)

announced today that her Assembly Bill 2223 passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee with a

vote of 12-0. AB 2223 will protect public health by eliminating access to intoxicating hemp

products, while providing a pathway for well-regulated hemp and cannabis industries to

participate in the federal and state legal hemp marketplace.

 

“When the 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp nationwide, the market was flooded with

new, legal hemp products. In 2021, my Assembly Bill 45 created the strongest structure in the

nation for regulating these products, registering companies to fund enforcement against illegal

products, and implementing needed guardrails on hemp products,” said Majority Leader Aguiar-

Curry (D-Winters). “We have made it clear that synthetic intoxicants were not legal in hemp

products. Those products were sold illegally prior to the bill, and unfortunately still are. I’ve

introduced AB 2223 to protect public health by greatly enhancing the tools available to state and

local health and law enforcement officials to stop the sale of these products. We must act this

year to enhance the restrictions under AB 45 so we can adapt to this constantly evolving illegal

market. The bottom line is that if it gets you high, it should not be sold outside a dispensary.

Period.”

 

“The proliferation of unchecked and duty-free hemp products has reached a fever pitch. AB 2223

lays the important groundwork needed to re-imagine how we regulate cannabinoids for

intoxication – regardless of whether they come from cannabis or hemp,” said Caren Woodson,

President of the California Cannabis Industry Association. “Cannabis products are excessively

regulated and overtaxed, while intoxicating hemp products remain under-regulated and subject to

no special taxes. AB 2223 presents an opportunity to reimagine a legal and regulatory framework

for cannabinoids in California and beyond.”

 

“As budtenders, delivery drivers and more, UFCW’s members see every day the effects of

unregulated hemp products that undermine California’s legal market,” said Matt Bell, Secretary-

Treasurer, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324. “UFCW has championed the

cannabis industry in California, but always with needed protections in place to keep workers and

consumers safe. AB 2223 will build on those protections by enforcing already existing laws

around hemp products. That’s why we’re proud to support this bill and applaud the Assembly

Judiciary Committee for passing this legislation.”

 

In 2021, AB 45 (Aguiar-Curry, Chapter 457, Statutes of 2021) created the most protective testing

standards and regulations for the hemp industry in the nation at the time, while maintaining

access to non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) products. But, despite strong standards,

intoxicating hemp products have become increasingly popular. Some of these products exploit a

loophole in federal law that measures THC content by weight, rather than intoxicating effect.

Other products contain synthetic intoxicants that are already illegal in California. Agencies have

had difficulty enforcing existing laws for hemp, and these challenges are now impeding

enforcement against illicit cannabis products as well.

 

AB 2223 increases enforcement against illegal hemp products by empowering state and local

public health agencies. The bill also strengthens prohibitions on intoxicating hemp products by

limiting the amount of THC in hemp products and strengthening restrictions on synthetic

intoxicants. This bill will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

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