ASTM International Sets Quality Standards for Sampling Hemp Seed
ASTM International, a nonprofit organization that sets voluntary standards for a variety of industries, recently approved new quality standards for sampling hemp seed intended for human consumption. ASTM’s new guidance aims to help manufacturers and farmers who grow and store hemp seed to be used in consumable products. Under these new standards, hemp seed must be tested for THC levels, as well as for moisture and microbial levels.
A representative for ASTM noted that, “[i]f accurate sampling is done and remediation — if needed — can be undertaken early, food waste may be avoided.” ASTM International announced that the new standards will be published as D8417. The standards were developed by ASTM Committee D37, formed in 2017 “to develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes.” More information about Committee D37 is available on ASTM’s website.
Brooklyn CBD Retailer Alleges Payment Processor Wrongfully Locked Accounts
In a complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York (1:21-cv-05920), a Brooklyn-based CBD retailer alleged that one of the largest online third-party payment processing platforms wrongfully restricted the retailer’s accounts on the platform. According to the complaint, the payment platform accused the retailer of selling “narcotics, steroids, drug paraphernalia, certain controlled substances, or other products that present a risk to consumer safety,” in violation of the platform’s terms of service. The payment platform also allegedly placed a hold on approximately $9,000 of retailer funds, pending an investigation into the retailer’s practices, and retained nearly $4,000 of the retailer’s funds to finance its investigation.
The retailer argued that the payment platform misinterpreted the 2018 Farm Bill, which the retailer said exempts CBD from classification as a narcotic. The retailer also claimed that the payment platform seized its funds without due process. The payment platform has not yet submitted any filings in the case.
National Industrial Hemp Plans CBD Standards Pilot Program
On Nov. 15, 2021, the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) announced plans to develop a pilot program to establish standards for product testing and labeling protocols for CBD products. NIHC President and CEO Patrick Atagi pointed to the current lack of federal regulations to guide manufacturers as the impetus for the program’s creation, noting that, “[w]ithout any guidance from the [Food and Drug Administration] thus far [on CBD], the NIHC is stepping up to develop our own testing standards and labeling protocols that we believe will enhance consumer safety and protect the consumer’s right to know.”
Pilot program participants who comply with the NIHC’s guidelines for ingredient accuracy and product labeling will be able to advertise that their products are NIHC-approved. Atagi noted that “we believe [this program] is going to strengthen consumer confidence, promote accuracy in labeling and ultimately, protect the brand of hemp.” NIHC guidelines do not change FDA’s current position on CBD products.
Grassroots Federal/State Legislative Highlights
NY Subways Prohibit Marijuana and Mushroom Ads. In November 2021, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) updated its advertising policy to prohibit certain categories of advertising, notably …….