THE SENATE S.B. NO. 2050
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO INDUSTRIAL HEMP DERIVED PRODUCTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Act 228, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, established the industrial hemp pilot program within the department of agriculture and has created the promise of a new form of diversified agriculture in Hawaii. Since the inception of the hemp pilot program, thirty-six industrial hemp farmers have registered with the department and are currently cultivating hemp for commercial use.
The legislature further finds that Congress passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, otherwise known as the farm bill, which removed hemp derived extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) as schedule 1 substances in the Controlled Substances Act from hemp plants that contain no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol. This effectively legalized the sale of CBD products from the commercial cultivation of hemp in the United States.
The legislature finds that with the passage of the farm bill, over sixteen thousand hemp growers have emerged throughout the United States. Industrial hemp is currently being used nationally in hundreds of different applications including consumer textiles, personal care, industrial components, and dietary supplements containing CBD. The hemp industry across the country has grown rapidly, and hemp-derived products are used by a wide range of consumers.
The legislature also finds that, while the United States Department of Agriculture has opened the industrial hemp market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has continued to exercise jurisdiction over the regulation of ingestible and topical hemp products. In 2019, the FDA, in its continuation of evaluating regulatory frameworks for hemp-derived compounds, held a public hearing, and opened a public docket for data gathering. The FDA has also issued non-legally binding public statements arguing that it is illegal to market CBD as a food additive or dietary supplement because it is an active ingredient in a pharmaceutical drug.
The legislature additionally finds that, with the existence of competing federal frameworks, several states, such as Florida, Ohio, and Texas have already acted to pass laws or regulations that explicitly allow hemp-derived CBD products to be produced and sold and to provide certainty for businesses and consumers. While it is expected that the FDA will eventually use its authority to regulate hemp-derived products, the only enforcement action it has taken to date is to send warning letters against improper disease remediation claims made by food and supplement companies. In Hawaii, the department of health, has adhered to the FDA public guidance that products containing CBD are adulterated food, beverage, or cosmetic products and therefore their sale in Hawaii is prohibited. Despite this suggested prohibition, CBD products continue to be sold across Hawaii, with no regulatory oversight.
The legislature finds that, given the time expected for the FDA to act, and the existing confusion among consumers and the industry, it is important that a timely regulatory framework be established around CBD, both to provide consumer safety requirements, and certainty for Hawaii hemp farmers to continue to viably operate their industrial hemp operations in the State.