Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry Responds to the Senate Appropriations Committee Holding AB 228 on Suspense

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) made the following statement today, in response to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s action to hold AB 228 on Suspense. AB 228 would have established a framework for the legal production and sale of hemp-based CBD products in California.

“I have worked diligently with the hemp and cannabis industries and with the Newsom Administration this year to establish a legal and regulatory framework that would allow hemp-derived CBD to be produced and sold in California. Consumers are excited about the opportunity to purchase CBD products made from hemp that will not also result in a “high” associated with the THC found in marijuana products.

“Enforcement actions by state and local regulators are severely limiting Californians’ access to hemp-CBD products that many consumers believe have substantial wellness benefits. They are disrupting manufacturers, retailers, and farmers, and are also putting the state’s agricultural industry at a disadvantage in pursuing a national market estimated to reach $20 billion annually in the next few years.

“This position by the California Department of Public Health has put our state in an Alice-in-Wonderland world, where adult consumers can walk into a licensed marijuana dispensary and purchase all manner of recreational cannabis products, but they cannot legally purchase non-psychoactive hemp products that they believe can bring them calm or reduce their pain.

“At the same time, consumers can currently order dozens of unregulated hemp oil and hemp CBD products from online and out-of-state retailers, including Amazon. Without AB 228, we do not have any California standards or consumer protection measures in place to regulate this market. This leaves our state at a competitive disadvantage, and our consumers with limited options.

“We have been asked by the Governor to work with his staff during the interim on the complex issues of food safety related to CBD, as well as the complicated rules associated with selling products in state marijuana dispensaries. Regardless of the action in Senate Appropriations today, I am confident that we will have a bill ready for the Governor to sign at the beginning of next year,  so that our California hemp farmers and producers of hemp-CBD can take advantage of this new multi-billion dollar opportunity.”

Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma Counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.