Here’s the latest CBD news:
- Merrco, Canada’s leading payment processor for cannabis businesses, has just launched a platform in the US.
- The Idaho hemp legalization bill (HB 126) passes the senate convincingly and is sent to the governor’s desk.
- Two House Committee Chairmen send a letter to USDA and Justice Department officials asking for support in overturning a DEA hemp ruling.
Table of Contents
- Canadian CBD Payment Processor Launches Platform in US
- Idaho Hemp Legalization Bill Passes the Senate
- House Committee Members Seek to Amend DEA Hemp Ruling
Canadian CBD Payment Processor Launches Platform in US
On Thursday, Apr 8, a prominent Canada-based payment processor, Merrco, that specializes in cannabis and CBD business payments announced that they had officially launched their platform in the USA.
As Media Contact Nura Eston described in the press release issued by the company, “Merrco recognizes the complexity that financial services and banking, and specifically payment acceptance, hold for CBD operators … despite the legal nature of ancillary cannabis business in the U.S.”
As an ancillary cannabis business, meaning one that doesn’t interact with cannabis products directly (and is therefore subject to less stringent regulations), Merrco is looking to streamline business transactions for qualified CBD merchants in the USA while maintaining compliance with all federal and local rules and regulations.
The company has already been operating in Canada since 2016, and leadership is confident that this experience will allow for early successes as Merrco builds a foundation in the USA.
Idaho Hemp Legalization Bill Passes the Senate
The bill that would fully legalize industrial hemp in Idaho, HB 126, has officially passed the Idaho Senate, meaning it’s now up for signing by the governor.
The legislative intent of HB 126 is to “allow production, processing, transportation, and research of industrial hemp in Idaho,” which requires the state to “assume primary regulatory authority” over industrial hemp legalization as federally permitted.
Idaho is the only state in the United States not to have legalized hemp production yet since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed.
Like the many states that legalized hemp before them, Idaho’s legislation package makes a clear distinction between marijuana and hemp.
If and when this bill goes into effect, hemp growers, consumers, and brands should have clearly delineated guidelines to regulate their interactions with hemp products.
House Committee Members Seek to Amend DEA Hemp Ruling
The wave of backlash following a DEA Interim Final Ruling on hemp in August of last year saw its latest episode in the closing days of March, as House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-GA) and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) sent a letter to Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Merrick Garland warning of the impact of this ruling on hemp legality.
As of the DEA ruling, any product containing more than 0.3% THC, the federally defined cutoff for “industrial hemp,” is considered a Schedule-I substance, making it legally synonymous with marijuana in this case.
This technically makes a strong argument that the production of <0.3% THC hemp products by CBD brands is illegal, since the raw material is likely to contain a higher amount of THC.
In the letter, the writers explained that “Congress did not intend the 2018 Farm Bill to criminalize any stage of legal hemp processing, and we are concerned that hemp grown in compliance with a USDA-approved plan could receive undue scrutiny from the DEA….”
The writers then called for the recipients, who head the USDA and the Justice Department, to meet with them and industry stakeholders to work through this potentially problematic interpretation of hemp legislation.