CBD News Roundup: Coca-Cola shoots down CBD-infused drink rumors

coca-cola cans in ice

Here are the biggest and most recent CBD news stories:

  • Coca-Cola has repeatedly shot down the rumor that the company is entering the CBD market.
  • USDA has approved the first state and tribal hemp plans.
  • Indiana Senator and Representative are requesting USDA to change its hemp rules.

Coca-Cola Shoots Down CBD-Infused Drinks Rumor

After a video surfaced claiming that CBD-infused Coca-Cola beverages were preparing to launch in Canada, Coca-Cola has called the rumors “untrue.”

In the video, a man named “Gabor the Blind Guy” stated that his father had been approached by Coca-Cola to design a child-proof cap for CBD-infused Coca-Cola beverages.

Gabor claims that his father gave him a prototype of the cap, which he shows to the camera.

Shortly after, the video was deleted, along with Gabor’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.

While some have speculated that Gabor potentially broke a non-disclosure agreement, Coca-Cola unequivocally denied the rumor.

This is not the first time Coca-Cola has been linked to interest in CBD; it’s also not the first time the company has shot down the rumors.

In September 2018, Coca-Cola and Aurora Cannabis were reportedly partnering to create CBD-infused beverages.

However, the next month, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey denied any interest in CBD, telling CNBC, “I don’t see that as something we’ll be getting into any time soon. It’s just not something we’re interested in.”

Aurora also put out a statement on the rumor in 2018, saying they had “no agreement, understanding or arrangement with respect to any partnership with a beverage company.”

USDA Approves State Hemp Plans

States are preparing to grow hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill as the United States Department of Agriculture has begun to approve state hemp plans.

Currently, the only plans accepted are from Louisiana, New Jersey, and Ohio.

Seventeen state plans are under review: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Eight states are in the process of drafting plans: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Four will continue to use pilot programs instituted under the 2014 Farm Bill provisions: Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, and New Mexico.

Finally, Maryland will use the default USDA plan.

USDA’s hemp plan could change soon as several stakeholders in the hemp industry have expressed concern over certain aspects of the interim final rule.

Most notably, the THC level for determining negligence and the timeframe for testing are points of debate.

Considering the widespread interest, USDA extended the window from December 2019 to January 29, 2020, for public comments on the rules.

You can see the status of a state’s hemp plan here.

Indiana US Congress Members Request Changes to USDA Hemp Rules

US Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and US Representative James Baird (R-IN) sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture requesting that specific changes be made to the agency’s hemp rules.

The pair begin the letter with appreciation to the USDA and its focus on setting guidelines for the hemp industry before the 2020 growing season.

“However, as we witness the maturation of this industry, it is imperative that the Department operates with the understanding that important questions surrounding genetics, seed characteristics, and best farming practices have yet to be answered,” said Sen. Braun and Rep. Baird.

Brain and Baird then listed four concerns that were raised by “Hoosier producers.”

The first was the 0.5% THC negligence threshold, which the pair argued was too low and should be raised to 1%.

They requested that the USDA provide documentation as to how the agency reached the 0.5% threshold.

Second, Braun and Baird said the 15-day harvest window “remains too narrow for Midwest farmers,” suggesting a 30-day window to “allow for much needed flexibility for producers.”

Another concern was that compliance testing should measure Delta-9 THC instead of total THC; this concern could also be remedied by raising the negligence threshold to 1%, said Braun and Baird.

Finally, they requested that USDA expand the sampling guidelines in calculating THC levels to match the intention of Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Other stakeholders have sent letters to USDA with nearly identical requests.

USDA is expected to make changes to its interim rule before issuing its final plan.