There are many aspects to, and results of, the spreading legalization of cannabis products. For some, it’s as simple as increased access to cannabis. That’s a great thing for those who depend on cannabis for medical reasons, and it’s good for those who enjoy using cannabis recreationally too.
For others, it’s about livelihood. As cannabis legalization spreads, so does the cannabis job market. People are finding careers in this burgeoning industry throughout the supply chain, as well as in areas like marketing and cannabis education.
And there’s also the matter of cannabis studies. Cannabis has never been approved by the FDA, but legalization allows for more and more studies of cannabis and its effects, and the hope is that these studies will lead us to FDA approval.
Another consequence of legalization is that states are engaging with and refining their cannabis laws in ways they never have. A perfect example of this can be seen in the state of Florida and its dealings with CBD products.
At the present time, Florida has legalized cannabis for medical use. But recreational THC has not been legalized in the state of Florida.
That much is simple enough. But when it comes to CBD, things are different. Like THC, CBD is a product of the cannabis plant, but unlike THC, it has no intoxicating properties and will not get users high.
It’s this fact that made CBD difficult for Florida lawmakers to deal with. At the end of the day, most government officials in Florida agreed that CBD products existed in a sort of gray area and that they couldn’t be legislated or regulated.
At least, that was the case until recently.
Under new Florida law, lawmakers will have the authority to regulate the CBD market and establish a baseline of quality for the products that are sold.
The 2019 legislative session saw the decriminalization of hemp in Florida. Hemp is a primary source of CBD since it contains less than 0.3% THC by definition. Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, who took office in 2018 after running on a platform of CBD industry overhaul, established a set of standards for the sale of CBD products.
The goal of the new regulations, first and foremost, is to ensure that consumers are protected. Fried and her team feel it’s vital to ensure that consumers know what they’re buying and what they’re always getting what they think they’re getting.
Prior to these regulations, there was nothing ensuring that CBD products in Florida contained what they said they did. There was nothing to guarantee that users would experience consistent results from one use to the next. But now, the state’s regulations require sellers to label products accurately. The labels must include how much CBD is in the product and what other additives have been included. Sellers are also prohibited from making false or unverified claims about their products.
Florida takes its new regulations seriously. Inspectors are sent to retail locations to check CBD products and ensure that they are in compliance. Sellers found to be incompliant are given a warning and a short window of time in which to rectify the problem.
The new CBD regulations spell good things for residents of Florida, who can now feel confident that when they buy a CBD product, they know exactly what they’re getting. Accurate labeling and comprehensive oversight are two enormous steps toward making the cannabis industry safer, more transparent, and more accessible for everyone. We hope to see other states following in Florida’s footsteps soon.
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