Maine Governor Mills Signs Bill Allowing Hemp to be Added to Food


The Maine hemp industry was dealt a win today when their Governor Janet Mills signed a bill to make adding CBD to food products legal. Before the bill passed, only products labeled as medicine, could add the popular cannabis extract to their products. The bill is seen as a win to Maine hemp farmers. Representative Craig Hickman was the author of the bill. Gov. Mills signed the bill into law Wednesday, March 27, 2019, after the Maine House approved it the previous week on a vote 116-1. The Maine Senate passed it 32-1 on Tuesday.

One of the emergency measures in the bill addresses the change in Maine’s definition of hemp and state allowance of CBD food sales goes into effect immediately. The bill is also being described as a clarification bill for growers, retailers, and consumers of the popular hemp products. Hickman also wanted to issue an apology for not being clear to retailers and suppliers in the first legislation that allowed the sale of CBD products in Maine. Hickman also expressed praise he has heard from his constituents in regards to the benefits received from using CBD oil and CBD-infused foods as a dietary supplement, and that there is now a clear definition in language between the two according to the Press Herald.

Also in the bill is legislation designed to align the definition of hemp in Maine state law, with the definition used in the new U.S. Farm Bill. CBD products available to the general public are derivatives of hemp, not marijuana. Even though marijuana has been legal in Maine since 2016. THC based CBD is only available through prescription, this bill pertains to hemp-based CBD products.

Hemp farmers lobbied hard for the bill as they say it will level the playing field for small growers and businesses, but not everyone is pleased with the outcome. Detractors have questions still on oversight and packaging labeling requirements, however animal products with hemp based products that contain CBD must indicate that they do.

CBD has been a big boom to Maine’s agricultural industry since it started it’s Maine Hemp Pilot Programs in 2016, with farmer’s earnings growing rapidly in the short time period. While the bill clarifies laws regarding state law, there are some discrepancies with federal law still, so farmers, suppliers, and retailers should be aware of federal guidelines as well.

Stay tuned to our blog for more on this Maine CBD bill, and other related information developing related to industrial hemp and CBD.

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