So often it seems we take two steps forward, and then one back. The 2018 Farm Bill took hemp off the federal controlled substances list, effectively making it legal, and accelerating hemp-derived CBD sales across the country. Last year, full cannabis legalization went into effect in Massachusetts, making it legal to purchase cannabis-derived CBD at recreational cannabis stores and medical cannabis dispensaries around the state.  But now, in a big step backwards, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has ruled that hemp-derived CBD products are illegal in the Commonwealth.  

With CBD growing in popularity as a treatment for a host of ailments—including anxiety, cancer, chronic pain, depression, epilepsy, erectile disfunction, insomnia and nausea, to name a few—it’s bewildering to think why the Department would take this action. Yes, research on the effectiveness of CBD is still limited, but the evidence of millions of users is positive, and the known side-effects are minor and infrequent, so why choose now to halt sales? 

At Home Grow Community we think this action on the part of the DoAR is a mistake, and hope that a bill introduced in the Mass House will remedy this. According to an article in the Boston Globe: 

A bill filed in the Massachusetts House last monthwould reverse the guidances recently released by the state, enforcing, among other things, that: 1) Hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD are not considered controlled substances. And 2) products that contain CBD that are intended for ingestion are to be considered foods, not controlled substances.  

Until that bill is passed, we expect many retailers of hemp-derived CBD products will pull them from their shelves, making it harder for consumers to find.    

Fortunately, the state law legalizing recreational and medical cannabis in Massachusetts prevents the Department from banning cannabis-derived CBDWith cannabis-derived CBD still legal in Massachusetts, you’ll be able to purchase CBD products at recreational cannabis stores and medical dispensaries in the Commonwealth, or grow it and process it yourself at home.