ACIL is the nation’s ONLY association representing the independent testing community and as such we believe it is important that we play an active role in crafting responsible cannabis laws and regulations. ACIL neither advocates for, nor against, the legalization of cannabis/hemp, but supports independent testing through well-formulated policies that mitigate bias in research and promotes scientific rigor and integrity to ensure products are safe for end consumers.
Through the Cannabis Working Group (CWG), ACIL is committed to supporting the medical cannabis/hemp industry as it relates to the need for quality, independent testing. Additionally, ACIL recognizes the need for standardized testing procedures and laboratory accreditation within the cannabis industry.
OUR LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
ACIL is actively working with federal lawmakers to draft new cannabis/hemp-related legislation addressing the specific needs of the industry. To that end, ACIL is committed to advancing the testing of cannabis through:
- offering language to the STATES ACT that would explicitly permit laboratories to test cannabis/hemp products
- allow for samples to be shipped across state borders in order to facilitate the standardization of testing procedures
- promoting the standardization of testing procedures and laboratory accreditation
- supporting medical cannabis research
- monitoring the legalization of hemp
- ensuring there is testing of cannabis/hemp for both potency and contaminants.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT THE CANNABIS TESTING INDUSTRY
Advocacy is a critical component of ACIL’s mission in ensuring quality, independent testing laws and regulations are in place to protect public health. ACIL has demonstrated its commitment to being a leading-voice for independent testing as cannabis laws and regulations evolve. To that end, ACIL strongly supports the reintroduction of the STATES Act and is seeking additional financial resources to allow us to advance this legislation and our other cannabis-related legislative priorities.
By making a donation to ACIL’s cannabis mission, you will continue the momentum on this important issue. Please consider supporting ACIL’s cannabis mission by making a donation today!
Support the Mission of the Cannabis Working Group!
LEGAL OPINION ON
AUTHORITIES FOR HEMP PRODUCTION
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) authorized the production of hemp and removed hemp and hemp seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) schedule of Controlled Substances. In response to questions raised concerning provisions pertaining to the interstate transportation of hemp and who may obtain a license to produce hemp, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC) has concluded the following:
- As of the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill on December 20, 2018, hemp has been removed from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and is no longer a controlled substance.
- After USDA publishes regulations implementing the new hemp production provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, States and Indian tribes may not prohibit the interstate transportation or shipment of hemp lawfully produced under a State or Tribal plan or under a license issued under the USDA plan.
- States and Indian tribes also may not prohibit the interstate transportation or shipment of hemp lawfully produced under the 2014 Farm Bill.
- A person with a State or Federal felony conviction relating to a controlled substance is subject to a 10-year ineligibility restriction on producing hemp under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. An exception applies to a person who was lawfully growing hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill before December 20, 2018, and whose conviction also occurred before that date.
HEMP FDA MEETING
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and interest in the plant and its popular byproduct cannabidiol has exploded! On Friday, May 31 2019, the FDA held its first public meeting on potential CBD rules. At the meeting, Lowell Schiller, who leads the FDA working group on cannabidiol, questioned the logic of allowing CBD to be marketed as a dietary supplement alongside vitamins and other established products. Officials also raised concerns about oversight of CBD goods already on store shelves.
Several academics presented studies showing that many marketed CBD products like oils and e-cigarette vapors contain either no cannabidiol, far more than claimed, or a mixture of CBD and dangerous synthetic psychoactives. Finally, pharmaceutical companies and patient groups said research barriers have held them back from studying the substance's safety and potential benefits.
PENDING FEDERAL LEGISLATION
The STATES Act was reintroduced on April 4, 2019, by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and David Joyce (R-OH) to ensure that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to cannabis within its borders. This legislation, otherwise referred to as H.R. 2093/S.1028, would also extend these protections to Washington, D.C., U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribal nations. S. 1028 has nine cosponsors (five Republicans and four Democrats) and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it awaits consideration. H.R. 2093 has 52 cosponsors (17 Republicans and 35 Democrats) awaits consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.
The Respect States’ and Citizens Rights Act, otherwise referred to as H.R. 2012, was reintroduced by Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) on April 1, 2019. This legislation is designed to prevent the federal government from enforcing its prohibition on marijuana in states where it is legal for residents to possess and use the drug. Specifically, H.R. 2012 would prevent federal preemption of state marijuana laws and allow states to establish the regulatory framework needed to tax and regulate the industry without the threat of a federal court challenge. H.R. 2012 has three Democratic cosponsors and awaits further consideration in the House Judiciary Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
On February 8, 2019, the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act was reintroduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to de-schedule, tax and regulate marijuana. This legislation, otherwise referred to as H.R. 1120/S.420 would also impose an excise tax on marijuana products like the current federal excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco, escalating annually to a top rate equal to 25 percent of the sales price. Additionally, marijuana producers, importers and wholesalers would be required to obtain a permit from the Department of Treasury, though there would be a prohibition on sales or distribution of marijuana in states where it is illegal under state law. S. 420 is currently without any cosponsors and awaits consideration in the Senate Finance Committee. H.R. 1120 has one Democratic cosponsor and awaits consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap (RAMP) Act was introduced by Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Earl Blumenauer on February 8, 2019 to reduce the gap between federal and state laws through the removal of federal criminal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for individuals and businesses complying with state law. The legislation, also referred to as H.R. 1119/S.421, would reduce the barriers for state-legal marijuana businesses by ensuring access to banking, bankruptcy protection, marijuana research and advertising. Additionally, this legislation would provide an expungement process for individuals who have been convicted of certain marijuana violations that fall into compliance with state law and would establish a new, separate registration process to facilitate medical marijuana research. S.421 is currently without any cosponsors and awaits consideration in the Senate Finance Committee. H.R 1119 is also without cosponsors and is awaiting consideration before the House Committees on Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Education and Labor, and Oversight and Reform.
The Marijuana Justice Act was introduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) as well as Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) on February 28, 2019. This legislation, otherwise referred to as H.R 1456/S.597 would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level. Additionally, the legislation would automatically expunge the convictions of individuals who have served federal time for marijuana use and possession offenses. S. 597 has seven cosponsors (six Democrats and one Independent) and is awaiting consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee. H.R. 1456 has 40 Democratic cosponsors and is awaiting action in the House Committees on Judiciary, Financial Services, Natural Resources, Energy and Commerce, and Agriculture.
The Small Business Tax Equity Act was introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on February 7, 2019 to create an exemption to the Internal Revenue Code Section 280E that allows businesses operating in compliance with state laws to take business-related deductions associated with the sale of marijuana just like any other legal business. Under current law, Section 230E of the tax code prohibits anyone purchasing or selling drugs listed in Schedule I or Schedule II from deducting their business expenses from their taxes or taking any other business credits or deductions. In the Senate, this legislation, otherwise referred to as S. 422, has four cosponsors (three Democrats and one Republican) and awaits consideration in the Senate Finance Committee. In the House, the legislation, referred to as H.R. 1118, has six cosponsors (four Democrats and two Republicans) and awaits consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced by Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on March 7, 2019. The legislation, otherwise known as H.R. 1595 is designed to make it easier for marijuana dispensaries and growers – as well as real estate owners, law firms, and other businesses that engage with them – to access the banking system instead of relying on cash transactions. H.R. 1595 also would allow banks and credit unions to provide financial services to state-authorized cannabis businesses without federal penalties. The SAFE Banking Act has 206 cosponsors (180 Democrats and 26 Republicans) and passed the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 45-15 on March 28, 2019. The legislation was ordered to be re-reported to the House Judiciary Committee where it awaits further consideration.
The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on May 20, 2019. The legislation, otherwise referred to as H.R. 2843/S. 1552 would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. H.R. 2843/S. 1552 would also create funding for minority and women-owned cannabis businesses, sets advertising regulations, invest in highway safety and public health research, and provides for state and local expungement and sealing programs. S. 1552 has seven cosponsors (six Democrats, one Independent) and is awaiting consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee. H.R. 2483 has 37 Democratic cosponsors and was referred to the House Committees on Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, Small Business, and Transportation and Infrastructure.