On February 7, 2024, California Assembly Member Aguilar-Curry introduced AB 2223. The bill, if passed, would significantly change the state’s cannabis and hemp industries – for better or worse. Today, we’ll take a look at how AB 2223 could change both the cannabis industry and hemp industry in the Golden State.

First though, a brief caveat. AB 2223 was just proposed. The bill is certain to undergo changes as it winds its way through the state legislature. Those changes could be so significant that we end up with a different law at the end of the day. And of course, the bill may not end up becoming law. So take all of the following with a bit of a grain of salt.

#1 The cannabis industry could be allowed to use hemp
AB 2223’s most significant change would be a change to MAUCRSA (the state’s cannabis law) that allows cannabis licensees from selling or incorporating products that include industrial hemp or its derivatives. Manufacturers could procure industrial hemp or derivatives from California Department of Public Health (CDPH) registered persons (including potential out-of-staters), and eventually would be able to procure a CDPH registration at the same premises once regulations are adopted.

Products containing industrial hemp would still have to comply with all legal requirements for cannabis products and would have to be tracked and traced as separate batches. If the law passes, the state has until July 1, 2025 to implement regulations.

#2 The battle over “synthetic cannabinoids” will be fought
If AB 2223 passes, cannabis licensees could not use “incorporate delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol that has been converted from a hemp-derived cannabinoid.” Additionally, retailers would be forbidden from selling “cannabis, a cannabis product, or an industrial hemp product that contains converted delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol.” Similarly, the term “industrial hemp” (with respect to existing hemp regulations” will be defined to exclude any “synthetically derived cannabinoid.

Read more at harris-sliwoski.com