Amid school access debates, Minnesota lawmaker hopes to expand CBD industry

Amid school access debates, Minnesota lawmaker hopes to expand CBD industry

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In Minnesota, CBD legislation is far from perfected, and industry figures and entrepreneurs have been quick to point out shortcomings in the current state legal approach.

Still, state laws must follow the broader federal regulations laid out by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In order to create more fairness in the hemp trade, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson hopes to reform the FDA’s framework with a new law.

“I know folks in my district that are excited about the potential for hemp, and while I want them to recognize that there’s still a ways to go yet, I also want to help establish a roadmap to get there,” Peterson, the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, told MinnPost. [1]

His new bill is H.R. 5587, which would codify CBD as a dietary supplement rather than what the FDA has sometimes called an “unapproved drug.”

Changing federal laws to give private actors and businesses more freedom would greatly expand a promising area of trade for CBD products, improving people’s lives and bringing prosperity to places like Minnesota.

According to MinnPost, 700 acres of hemp were grown in the state in 2018 and many as 8,000 were cultivated in 2019. The percentage of this hemp also went from 10% in 2018 to nearly 80% last year. [1]

“In my opinion, [the proposed] represent a clear step backward from the pilot program rules that we were operating under here, at least in Minnesota,” said Minnesota Hemp Association Executive Director Joe Radinovich told MinnPost. [1]

Earlier this year, parents and CBD advocates visited the Minnesota State Legislature to argue that prohibitions on CBD in public schools should be ended.

Kelly King, for instance, has a 12-year-old son with epilepsy who uses CBD to recover from seizures. [2]

She claims she should be able to send him to school with the CBD oil he needs to be safe, and the hemp would be safe in the nurses office until he needed it to prevent possible abuse or anything nefarious. [2]

“It’s nerve-racking to put [Kade] on the bus every day,” King told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Get a policy together. My son’s life is on the line here.” [2]

Debates have followed in the weeks after these parents’ and business groups’ pleas reached the Capitol, but Minnesotans can hope for better and more time-tested CBD as the legal regime loosens to permit them to flourish.