This is a weird one. Montana legalizes cannabis including recreational marijuana. Fine. Most states are going that direction. However, and this is weird, Montana’s cannabis legalization actually hurts local hemp growers and CBD companies. There was more freedom for selling hemp products and CBD in Montana prior to the recreational cannabis legalization. While it seems that this is an oversight, thus far there is no discernible plan to correct it. Montana hemp and CBD stores are left with few options until the situation is rectified. Here’s what happened:
HB 701 is the Montana legislation that legalizes cannabis. But that law also contains restrictions against growing or selling hemp. And when hemp is banned, CBD is banned because no hemp means no CBD. Plus, remember legal CBD products, which is the vast majority, contain less than 0.3% of THC. Of course, THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. The ban takes effect on January 1, 2022. As a result, Montana hemp and CBD shops have until January 1 to sell everything they have in their inventory. So think about it. On January 1, 2022 in the Great State of Montana you will be able to buy weed to get hight, but you will have a hell of a hard time buying CBD. Well, that’s nuts.
The new law was an ill conceived attempt to clearly differentiate the cannabis and hemp industries. In theory, we welcome the distinction. Using CBD as a health and well-being supplement has nothing to do with getting stoned. Frankly, one of the biggest obstacles hemp and CBD face toward gaining acceptance is the association with marijuana. Now, that association exists but they are truly not the same product. HB 701 green lights getting high but makes it harder to get CBD for sleeping.
Montana lawmakers though that the provision would benefit Montana hemp growers. Or at least that is what they claim. Because it certainly does not! The ban applies to cannabis license holders. That means unlicensed and generic CBD brands can still be sold at gas stations. Folks, you are probably not going to find good quality CBD sold on the counter next to the licorice. A lot of generic CBD brands are garbage. For example, a lab in Colorado tested dozens or generic retail CBD products and found that 70% of them contained contaminants. In addition, many dod not have the amount of CBD claimed on the label. Don’t buy cheap CBD from a dispensary or gas station!
At the end of the day this needs to be fixed. Montana hemp growers did not see this coming. The law caught everyone off guard. And given that the law makes absolutely no sense, we hope Montana law makers get this fixed. Montana grown hemp and CBD producers deserve better than to be run out of town by generic, cheap CBD.