What does marijuana legalization mean for the hemp industry?
Infinite CBD • February 22, 2021
If you currently use cannabidiol, where do you purchase it? If you live in an area that has a medical and/or recreational program in place, perhaps you purchase CBD from a dispensary or health food store. On the other hand, many people don’t reside in an area where you can legally purchase CBD at a physical establishment. As a result, online CBD stores like us at Infinite CBD receive business from interested customers living in different regions. With new House Bill 1187, CBD could soon be bought in Colorado pharmacies.
If you live in Colorado though, you may be aware that CBD is sold at state health food stores. However, Colorado’s cannabis laws don’t allow CBD to be sold in pharmacies. This may change in the future though due to a House Bill that’s working its way through the Statehouse.
Although CBD isn’t currently sold in Colorado pharmacies, this could change in the future. A bill known as House Bill 1187 would allow GW Pharmaceuticals to sell their CBD-centric drug in Colorado pharmacies. For those who don’t know, GW Pharmaceuticals is a UK-based company that created the CBD-based drug, Epidiolex. GW Pharmaceuticals and other big pharma companies are trying to pass this bill to gain control over the Cannabidiol market.
On Tuesday, March 20th, Colorado’s House Committee passed the “Food and Drug Administration Cannabidiol Drug Use” bill (HB 1187) with a 9-0 vote. However, there are additional stages the bill must go through before it’s official approved. The state stakeholder process plays a role in this bill. Moving forward, the stakeholder process will continue as HB 1187 moves through the next steps.
So far, there are many concerns about this bill, especially coming from members of Colorado’s hemp industry. CBD and cannabis activists, hemp association members, and CBD business owners are worried about CBD being sold in Colorado pharmacies. Many state association members are worried that Colorado lawmakers could pave a ‘superhighway’ for GW Pharmaceuticals to potentially monopolize the CBD market. Recently, Colorado hemp industry members expressed their concerns at the Statehouse.
Additionally, CBD and cannabis business owners are concerned as well. For example, Luke Johnson, the founder of Cloud CO farms, expressed the following about HB 1187: “Make no mistake, this bill is written as an attempt to control the (CBD) industry.” In general, there are fears that this bill will allow big pharma to control the cannabidiol compound and the market it’s sold in. Also, the potential involvement of huge pharmaceutical companies within the cannabis and CBD industry has unleashed both fear and worry by many.
Initially, the Colorado Hemp Industries Association (COHIA) opposed HB 1187. However, recently, they shifted their stance. The following statement was made by COHIA regarding the proposed bill:
‘…COHIA is working to include language that guarantees protection for hemp-based CBD companies operating lawfully in the state of Colorado. As the hemp industry continues to mature across the country, we will have to work with pharma companies seeking market space.’
Although there’s a possibility that HB 1187 won’t get passed, big pharma is coming regardless. Once big pharma makes their move, numerous small cannabis producers may be knocked out of the Colorado market. Until that happens, one member of COHIA expressed his view on this matter by saying, “The best we can hope for is strong protections for our current industry as GW comes into Colorado.” Recently, COHIA met with GW lobbyists to discuss provisions and conditions of HB 1187. COHIA wanted to ensure that the bill would only apply to CBD products being sold at Colorado pharmacies.
If HB 1187 is approved by the FDA and Colorado state lawmakers though, the prescribing, dispensing, transporting, possessing, and usage of the CBD-based drug would be legal in Colorado. Despite people’s concerns about CBD being sold in Colorado pharmacies, this could become a reality eventually. However, this particular bill is subject to a state-wide referendum petition. A referendum petition can be filed to Section 1 (3) Article V of the state constitution against HB 1187. If this is done, the bill won’t take effect until/unless it’s approved by Colorado voters at this November’s general election.
If you’re worried about CBD being sold in Colorado pharmacies, take a stand. You can do this by working with like-minded individuals who are on the same page as you. Even though big pharma is trying to push themselves into the CBD and cannabis industry, people like you and me can make a difference! Stay tuned for more updates on HB 1187 and what you can do to prevent this potential monopolization from occurring.