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Georgia farmers would now be able to grow hemp crops

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Georgia moves closer to legal hemp production

Hemp legalization in the United States has dramatically impacted the consumer market flooding it with plenty of hemp-derived CBD products. Several companies have joined the CBD industry, offering products infused with CBD such as gummies, chocolates, gel, creams, topical, tincture, capsules, vape pens, pet treats, etc. 

The Farm Bill that legalized hemp for recreational purposes was overall welcomed by the US, but there were some states reluctant about the potency of CBD and its effectiveness. Additionally, the lack of research about CBD and its medicinal claims back then worried enforcement officials and state governments the most. 

However, the CBD industry has been growing rapidly ever since the Farm Bill was passed. By the end of this year, state officials plan to submit proposed rules to the US federal government for growing hemp. This means that Georgia farmers would be able to legally begin raising hemp crops as early as this spring. 

Hemp is a cannabis genus plant, which is used to derive CBD or cannabidiol, the wildly popular substance used for an array of medical benefits. Marketers claim that CBD is a potent chemical that can treat a variety of ailments, however, there’s a lot of research that needs to be done to back up these claims. 

Georgia has been receiving its CBD oil from other states so far. But under Georgia’s proposed hemp rules, farmers would be able to sell hemp to state-licensed processing companies only. 

Proper inspections would be carried out on the hemp crops grown by licensed farmers. If they exceed a limit of 0.3% THC- tetrahydro cannabidiol is the psychoactive substance present in marijuana that gives users a high- they will be destroyed, according to the federal regulations. 

Federal regulations clearly state that hemp-derived CBD products can contain 0.3% or less THC per unit, above which the product will become illegal and can be confiscated and destroyed. The state’s proposal must comply with these regulations in order to be able to grow its own hemp and sell it. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture aims at approving state hemp plants proposals within 60 days of their submission, said Julie McPeake, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Once Georgia receives approval, it will most fast to propose a final set of regulations that could be in place soon after a 30-day public comment period, said McPeake. 

 

Hemp-Based Products and Their Safety

Hemp-derived CBD products are easily available in the market these days. From CBD infused topicals, creams, tincture, oils, capsules, gel, vape pens, to CBD gummies and chocolates, there’s so much to explore for consumers. 

Leading companies such as Balanced Health Botanicals (BHB) are taking the right steps to ensure that their products are of high quality and safe for consumers. They recently got awarded a self-affirmed GRAS status which states their products comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

The FDA has approved of only one CBD based medicine till now- Epidiolex. It is an oral solution used to alleviate the symptoms of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox Gastuat syndrome. These ailments are most commonly found in children causing them to have multiple seizures in a day, which is not only painful but also hampers their physical and mental growth. 

Apart from Epidiolex, the FDA has stringent regulations against CBD products. It prohibits companies from marketing their CBD products as an alternative to medication or a miracle substance that can cure any disease. The agency recently issued warning letters to companies such as Curaleaf, Rooted Apothecary and others for claiming that their CBD products can aid medicinal benefits.  

Scott Gottlieb, former chief of FDA, warns consumers about the safety of CBD products. He said that CBD is being used in different forms and products, ranging from skincare products to edibles. The concentration and potency of CBD vary from one product to another, and there’s no sure shot way of determining whether a product is safe or not unless it is approved by a licensed authority like the FDA.

Most of the hemp-derived CBD products in the market are unregulated these days. Although companies are stepping up and taking corrective measures to ensure consumer safety and premium quality, there is an abundance of businesses that are selling CBD products illegally

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