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CBD News Roundup: NFLPA Warns Players Not to Endorse CBD

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Written by The CBD Insider

Here’s the latest CBD news:

  • The NFL Players Association has sent a letter to its members advising them not to endorse CBD products.
  • Nine Congress members have issued a letter to the DEA urging it to revise its proposed hemp regulations.
  • The USDA has approved the hemp cultivation plans for six more states and three more Indian reservations after delaying its deadline to 2021.

NFL Players Warned Not To Endorse CBD Products

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has told its athletes that it does not advise endorsing products that contain CBD or other cannabinoids. 

In an email sent last week, the NFLPA notified members that it has updated its Commercial Substances Policies and Endorsements section to read: “NFL players, coaches, and other employees must not endorse or appear in advertisements for alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or cannabinoid products.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD as a banned substance in 2018. Since, many athletes have landed endorsement deals with CBD companies, including Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, who last week announced his role as brand ambassador for the CBD brand Beam. According to a Front Office Sports report, it was Mayfield’s deal that sparked the NFLPA letter and changes in language. 

Fellow NFL player and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end, Rob Gronkowski, is among the other athletes who have endorsement deals with CBD brands.

Nine Congress Members Urge DEA To Revise Hemp Rules

Nine members of Congress have issued a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to request revisions to its proposed hemp regulations.

The DEA released its interim final rule on hemp crops in August, saying the new regulations were an update to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. However, hemp advocates and stakeholders are concerned over some language in the rule.

The letter was spearheaded by Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA) and pointed specifically to the processing of hemp extracts. In the new DEA rule, “any such material that contains greater than 0.3% of Δ9-THC on a dry weight basis remains controlled in schedule I.” 

Some in the industry believe this language could criminalize hemp extract at a specific point in the extraction process when THC levels can surge beyond the legal threshold of 0.3% by dry weight, despite the extract again complying with the standard once it becomes a finished product.

The letter states: “Our offices have received countless calls from constituents involved in the hemp industry who are extremely fearful that simply following the provisions of the Farm Bill will result in criminal liability under the IFR. The IFR will likely have the effect of inhibiting these nascent state hemp programs thereby harming those American companies and workers who chose to pursue careers in the hemp industry and made significant investments to effectuate those aspirations.”

The authors requested a resolution as quickly as possible, adding “DEA must revise the IFR to eliminate the ambiguities set forth above and provide peace of mind to all Americans who have chosen to pursue a career in the hemp industry.”

Other Congressmen who signed the letter include reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Don Young (R-AK), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Last week, the Hemp Industries Association and CBD brand RE Botanicals filed a lawsuit to block the DEA’s ruling.

The public comment period on the DEA’s proposed rules update ended this week but received more than 3,300 submissions. 

USDA Approves Hemp Cultivation Plans For Six States & Three Indian Tribes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the hemp cultivation plans of six more states and three Indian tribes.

States that received approval include:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota

While the tribes are:

  • Comanche Nation
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona
  • Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

With the nine additions, there are now 69 approved plans in total. 

The USDA issued its Interim Final Rule on hemp in the fall of 2019 to align with the 2018 Farm Bill provisions.

While the agency issued a Nov. 1, 2020 deadline for states and tribes to gain federal approval, the deadline was recently extended to 2021, allowing states to operate under the 2014 Farm Bill.