New Colorado Regulations: CBD, Medical Research & Social Equity




New hemp-derived CBD regulations in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has finalized state testing requirements for hemp. The new regulations take effect on October 1 and include all hemp-derived goods intended for human consumption, including hemp-infused CBD products.

“We don’t want to burden the industry,” Jeff Lawrence, CDPHE director of environmental health and sustainability, told Westword. “But what we’ve learned is that there are things in hemp products that we obviously need to be considerate of. Since the inception of hemp, Colorado has been a leader in this industry. This will provide some better guidance.”

Testing will screen for things like pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents.

Hemp-infused products like foods, drinks, nutritional supplements, cosmetics, and pet products will be subject to the new testing requirements. Industrial hemp products like textiles, fuel, and building materials, are excluded from the testing requirements. Hemp-derived smokable products, including those with modified cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC, are also excluded from the new regulations.

“Ultimately, this is a public-health issue. In 2018, when, statutorily, these products were allowed, we said it would be treated like every other food and dietary supplement requirement,” Lawrence said.

DEA-approved medical marijuana research facility coming to Denver

A Denver-based marijuana research and cultivation firm received approval from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to begin federally-approved medical marijuana studies.

The research license will allow MedPharm to study all of the molecules known to be made by the cannabis plant—more than 400 so far. The company will also be studying the interaction between phytocannabinoids and different brain cells.

“Access to the diversity of chemicals produced by cannabis has never been greater, and we are excited to unlock the medical potential of these compounds,” said Dr. Tyrell Towle, MedPharm’s director of chemistry and research.

Although MedPharm is licensed to grow medical marijuana for research purposes at the city and state levels, they’re still waiting on the DEA to approve federal licensing. That means that the company won’t be using its own marijuana for research. Currently, the University of Mississippi is the only federally licensed medical marijuana research supplier.

Colorado Cannabis Business Office focuses on social equity

Governor Jared Polis announced the creation of a new office aimed at supporting cannabis businesses and promoting social equity.

The Cannabis Business Office (CBO) was created as part of a bill passed earlier this year. $4 million was set aside for the program for the 2022-’23 fiscal year from the state Marijuana Tax Cash Fund.

According to the CBO, the office will:

  • Provide loans to social equity licensees for seed capital and ongoing business expenses;
  • Offer grants to social equity licensees to support innovation and job creation and organizations that support marijuana businesses to be used to support innovation and job creation of social equity licensees; and
  • Support cannabis business owners with technical assistance, prioritizing social equity licensees who have been awarded a loan or grant through the program.

“This office will offer tools like technical help and improve access to money for businesses. Where the federal government has fallen behind, Colorado will lead. Colorado is, and always has been, the best place to live, work, grow and sell cannabis,” Polis said in a press release.