Missouri to Implement CBD and low-THC Law
by Rudi Keller
Writing rules to implement Missouri’s new law allowing a cannabis-based epilepsy treatment would, if normal procedures are followed, take until at least Dec. 31. Actually growing the plants to maturity and extracting the sought-after resins will add six months or more to the wait, whenever the rules are in effect.
The goal of the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, is to create an in-state source of a particular strain of cannabis — the plant genus that provides industrial hemp and recreational marijuana — high in a chemical, cannabidiol or CBD, gaining popularity as an alternative treatment for severe forms of epilepsy.
Online retailers are claiming that there is no need to wait. Within hours of Gov. Jay Nixon signing the bill, which put the law in effect because of an emergency clause, emails arrived at the Tribune touting the products. The emails claimed the products were legal for anyone in the United States to possess and use because of their low levels of THC, the chemical that causes the high associated with pot.
“I am 50 years old, and I don’t want to go to jail and I have no intentions of going to jail,” said James Kleinkopf of Bayshore Botanicals, one of the companies advertising CBD products on the Internet.
A leading marijuana legalization advocate, Dan Viets of Columbia, said the ads are misleading at best and could result in serious criminal charges.
"That is wrong," said Viets, chairman of Show-Me Cannabis and state coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Viets said many people make the assumption that state law banning marijuana outlines acceptable THC amounts, but the law does not mention THC.
The new state law concerning CBD does include a maximum allowable amount of THC in plants grown for extraction of CBD, and it applies only to epilepsy patients approved for the treatment and growers certified by the state. The broader law banning marijuana in the state still is in effect.
A website extolling the benefits of CBD also warns potential users about the law. CBD is a federal Schedule 1 substance, falling under the prohibition on tetrahydrocannabinols, the CBD Project website states. The statement acknowledges claims by companies such as Bayshore.
“But this is a rather grey area of the law,” the CBD Project states. “Thus far, U.S. authorities have not moved against a handful of companies that purport to import ‘CBD hemp oil’ with trace levels of THC.”
Neither the Department of Justice in Washington nor the Drug Enforcement Agency regional office in St. Louis responded to inquiries about the legality of CBD.
A more relaxed federal policy was announced last year, as more states have legalized medical marijuana and recreational marijuana was legalized in Washington and Colorado. The policy was refocused on preventing marijuana from being exported from those states and preventing minors from gaining access to marijuana. It included a statement that individual users would not be the target of enforcement.
Bayshore obtains its products from a Colorado company, Dixie Botanicals, Kleinkopf said. THC is the defining quality, he said, because federal law has long allowed the sale of imported hemp products with little or no THC. The difference, he said, is that the CBD can now be produced domestically.
“I would say it is a market that is definitely on the forefront, and I think it is going to be a rapidly expanding market,” he said. “People are kind of in a cloud, and they don’t understand the difference between medical marijuana and hemp.”
Under the new state law, the Department of Agriculture is writing rules for applications from not-for-profit growers to produce a strain of CBD-rich cannabis.
The Department of Health and Senior Services will regulate use. When its rules take effect, patients will apply, providing medical certification that three standard treatments have failed to control their epilepsy. Approved applicants will be allowed to legally possess and use products with CBD once in-state supplies are ready.
“The concern about federal law was what really caused us to write and pass this legislation,” Jones said. “By being able to get it produced, processed and distributed here in the state, there were less interstate issues.”
Jones said he is sorry that people who think CBD would help their epilepsy will have to wait.
“While I understand the importance of getting this into the hands of the people that need it, the last thing I want to do is go through a process that could create a problem,” he said.
This page has been revised to make the following correction.
A Sunday story about a new state law allowing a cannabis-based epilepsy treatment misquoted Dan Viets. The story quoted him as saying the new state law allowing the treatment does not mention THC. The existing law banning marijuana says nothing about THC, the chemical that causes the high associated with pot, however the new state law does specify a maximum allowable amount of THC in plants grown for extraction of CBD.
I loved this comment so much I had to include it....
the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!
1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...
"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420
from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new
20 years behind us southern states and NEW YORK (CBD = Can't Be Done), sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…
Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions
Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom
love and freedom forever
AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!
Missouri CBD law highlights gray area of federal law enforcement
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