What Is CBF? Cannabifuran Effects, CBF vs CBD

The closer you look at cannabis, the more compounds appear. Cannabifuran may be one of the least-known cannabinoids, but that by no means suggests it’s unimportant.

Recently, research into CBF has picked up steam, indicating that this cannabinoid may soon enter the mass market. In preparation for the inevitable popularity of CBF and cannabinoids like it, familiarize yourself with all the pertinent details regarding CBF in this guide.

What is the cannabinoid CBF?

Cannabifuran (CBF) is a cannabinoid that is believed to naturally emerge¹ in Cannabis sativa in rare cases. The natural status of CBF is easily disputable, however, given that records regarding its extraction from cannabis are scant and all available studies on CBF involve synthesizing the cannabinoid from other compounds.

From the perspective of published scientific research, very little is known about the experienced effects and other properties of CBF, and in terms of chemical structure, it is considerably unlike both THC and CBD. It is theorized that CBF may be a metabolite of THC, indicating that it is likely to have some degree of intoxicating potential. CBF is on the cutting edge of cannabis science, though, so it’s important to maintain an inquiring and skeptical mindset when discussing the cannabinoid.

Science is often inadvertently pushed forward by industry, which may prove the case with CBF. Even if the international cannabis research community is still relatively unaware of CBF, the cannabinoid has been synthesized since the 1980s², allowing private producers decades to learn about CBF and determine how it fits into the modern cannabinoid pharmacopeia. 

Origins

It is possible that CBF may emerge under natural circumstances in cannabis. Then again, it may not. In the cannabis and pharmaceutical industries, CBF is usually made by converting CBD — a relatively standard process for rare cannabinoids.

Structure

At a glance, CBF looks relatively similar to CBD. Present in both cannabinoids are the trio of cyclic rings that make up the body accompanied by an alkyl chain tail. CBF nearly makes a fourth cyclic ring, however, with an additional oxygen bond while one of the rings present in CBD has lost its complete structure. Researchers speculate that these considerable structural differences may be responsible for the unique experienced effects reported in conjunction with CBF ingestion.

Effects

Use of CBF remains scant both in the context of recreational consumption and scientific research. Based on the highly limited anecdotal accounts available on social media and elsewhere online, however, CBF appears to provide an effect profile that draws equally from the commonly reported effects of CBD, CBG, and THC. More research will need to be conducted into CBF before we’re certain how it affects the human body.

What does CBF do?

The exact pharmacokinetics of CBF remain relatively speculatory. While individual producers of the cannabinoid may be reasonably confident they know how the cannabinoid works in the human body, CBF remains relatively unresearched, so there are few studies to turn to for support.

Overall, it’s safe to say that CBF offers experienced effects that land somewhere between those of CBD and THC. As regards any unique medical benefits CBF may or may not offer, it’s necessary to wait for the research to come in before making any conclusive statements.

Is CBF the same as CBD?

No, CBF and CBD are quite different in a variety of ways. The chemical structures of the two cannabinoids are indisputably unique, for instance, and one substance is far more available than the other. Speaking of availability, though, scientists hope that altered cannabinoids like CBF may solve bioavailability issues inherent to most natural cannabinoids.

CBF vs. CBD

Even if it’s hard to make definitive statements regarding the practical utility of CBF, we can still delineate how the cannabinoid is different from CBD. Let’s compare the two cannabinoids across eight crucial categories:

Source

CBD is the second most-abundant cannabinoid in Cannabis sativa. CBF, on the other hand, is so rare that it is unclear whether it naturally occurs in cannabis at all.

It’s possible to source CBD from practically any hemp or cannabis plant. CBF, though, can only be made in a lab — if you need usable quantities, that is.

Structure

CBF appears to be more structurally similar to CBD than it is to most cannabinoids. However, the two cannabinoids remain considerably structurally different, implying that it is highly likely they interact with different systems in the body.

Effects

From an official standpoint, the effects of CBF remain relatively unknown. Cannabinoid producers and others who have used the cannabinoid indicate that it offers experienced effects that are reminiscent of a slightly more psychoactive form of CBG. Without fail, cannabinoids each have unique beneficial properties, but whatever these properties might be in CBF has yet to be established. 

Potency

It’s safe to say that CBF feels more potent than CBD in terms of experienced effects. It will likely feel less potent than THC for most users, though.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability is one of the chief concerns when developing cannabinoids like CBF. Despite their immensely beneficial properties, natural cannabinoids often offer base bioavailability of 30% or lower, meaning that most of the cannabinoid molecules consumed are excreted without being broken down and absorbed by the body.

CBF researchers commonly speculate that this and similar cannabinoids may eventually be used to solve bioavailability gaps in hemp and cannabis products. It remains unproven that CBF provides better bioavailability than CBD in practice as well as in theory, though.

Legality

As is usually the case with cannabinoids aside from delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9 THC), CBF is generally considered to be industrial hemp, not the Schedule I drug “marijuana.” As a result, CBF should be treated the same as CBD, CBG, or any of the other “hemp cannabinoids” that have recently become popular.

There is the usually converted status of CBF to consider, though. Government agencies have indicated that they may view converted or synthesized cannabinoids differently from purely natural cannabinoids like CBD or CBG. That’s an additional consideration to keep in mind when considering the legal and regulatory status of CBF.

Safety

The comparative safety of CBF relative to other cannabinoids remains highly speculative. Some factors to consider include the rough structural similarity of CBF to cannabinoids that have been observed to be fit for human consumption along with the inherent safety concerns that emerge when substances are converted or synthesized.

Availability

Relative availability is one of the starkest differences between CBF and CBD. At this point, CBD has essentially become a mainstream commodity. Any continued lack of availability or inflated pricing is simply due to a by-the-numbers continued state of regulatory dysfunction — the general public has embraced CBD, and it was always abundant in cannabis and hemp anyway.

Cannabifuran, by contrast, is so rare that it remains relatively unknown despite being discovered more than 40 years ago. To fill this void, certain manufacturers are beginning to offer CBF products online in bulk. It will be quite some time, though, before CBF is available as plentifully as CBD or in as many product types.

Where to buy CBF in bulk

As you peruse the scarce sources of CBF currently available online, it’s important to run through a simple mental checklist:

1. How long has the CBF producer been in business?
2. Did they start as a CBD producer?
3. What other products do they make?
4. How large does the business appear to be?
5. How certified are they?
6. How responsive is their customer service staff?

Since it still exists in a somewhat liminal regulatory state, the cannabinoid industry continues to harbor certain producers whose operations fall short of optimal safety standards. Don’t let them cast a shadow on genuinely reliable cannabinoid producers who make it their mission to bring safe, clean forms of CBF and other cannabinoids to market at fair prices.

Summary: Why is CBF worth a try?

The newness of CBF is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, now is the time to corner a market that may one day expand massively. On the other, CBF remains relatively unknown, and due to a lack of research and public awareness, drawing attention to CBF products will present new challenges.

Since its inception, though, the cannabinoid industry has thrived by pushing past convention and bravely sharing the secrets of cannabis and hemp with the world. Embracing a wider range of cannabinoids is the next logical step in the evolution of the hemp industry — who will history remember as the names who first brought the benefits of CBF to light?

CBF FAQ

Let’s finish out our inquiry into the emerging cannabinoid CBF in the FAQ section below:

1. What is the difference between CBD and CBF?

In addition to inherent structural differences, CBD and CBF are also different from each other in terms of availability and experienced effects. CBD is one of the most available cannabinoids in the world while CBF is extremely rare. Also, CBD is entirely non-intoxicating while CBF, as a THC derivative, is believed to have at least some intoxication potential.

2. Is CBF a natural cannabinoid?

It is unclear whether or not CBF is a natural cannabinoid. Some sources indicate that the cannabinoid is found in certain rare cannabis phenotypes, but this claim is unproven. All available CBF was converted from another cannabinoid.

3. Does CBF affect your CB1 receptors?

There is no indication that CBF affects your CB1 receptors, the primary neuroreceptors responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis. However, this could simply be a false perception caused by a lack of information on the cannabinoid. To determine the impact of CBF on CB1 and other neurochemical systems in the brain and body, more research must be done.

Sources

1. PubChem. (n.d.). Cannabifuran. PubChem. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Cannabifuran#%3A%7E%3Atext=Cannabifuran+is+a+natural+product+found+in+Cannabis+sativa+with+data+available.

2. Novák, J., & Salemink, C. A. (1983). Cannabis XXVI. Total synthesis of cannabifuran. Tetrahedron Letters, 24(1), 101–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0040-4039(00)81338-6

3. Banerjee, A. R., Hayward, J. J., & Trant, J. F. (2023). “Breaking bud”: the effect of direct chemical modifications of phytocannabinoids on their bioavailability, physiological effects, and therapeutic potential. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 21(18), 3715–3732. https://doi.org/10.1039/d3ob00068k

How to Start a Hemp Business in Virginia

From the Founding Fathers’ hemp fields to naval shipyards supplied with local hempen sails, Virginia has a long and rich history with the Cannabis sativa plant. Is Virginia still a fertile market, though, for starting a hemp business, or are there overwhelming impediments to making money with hemp in this highly taxed and regulated state?

In this guide, learn everything you need to know about the Virginia hemp market from cultivation conditions to local licensing requirements. By the end, you’ll be well-versed in the benefits and detractors of starting a hemp business in this state.

Virginia cannabinoid law overview

– In 2023, Virginia revamped its hemp laws in an attempt to crack down on illicit cannabinoid sales
– Hemp-related businesses have already begun shutting down¹ in the state
– Opponents contended that Virginia’s new hemp bill was too punitive against non-intoxicating products
– The bill was sustained, though, resulting in a much-more prohibitive environment for hemp entrepreneurs in Virginia
– Hemp products in Virginia must now not only contain less than 0.3% but also contain less than 2mg THC total per package²
– The only exception is when the overall CBD:THC ratio in the product does not exceed 25:1
– If edible products contain any THC whatsoever, they must have child locks
– Penalties start at $10,000 per day
– These new rules have illegalized upwards of 90% of hemp products sold in some Virginia stores

Can I sell CBD in Virginia?

Yes, it is still possible to sell CBD and other hemp products in Virginia, but with certain limitations. The ultimate reasoning remains inscrutable, and the contention was fierce, but the office of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin eventually signed a bill significantly restricting the THC content in CBD and other hemp products.

With lawmakers admitting that these new measures, complete with massive daily fines, are designed to make it too expensive for hemp businesses to continue operating, it is no stretch to suggest that even Virginia’s new hemp regulations might not be entirely straightforward. We will now carefully explain the framework of Virginia’s hemp laws to make sure that cannabinoid companies operating in the state have the best chance of remaining in business.

Virginia’s new CBD laws explained

In crafting its new cannabinoid and hemp legislation, Virginia began with the rubric provided by the federal government with the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. For the entire nation, the following rules apply: Cannabis sativa products are considered industrial hemp if they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

As the name suggests, industrial hemp is an industrial or commercial product that is not denoted as having any intoxicating or even medical purpose on the official level. With the understanding that THC is a potentially dangerous substance that should be avoided, CBD and other cannabinoid products are generally treated as innocuous and potentially very beneficial.

Virginia has taken things quite a few steps further, though, by applying additional restrictions on the THC concentrations allowed in its state. To understand how much THC is allowed in your CBD products in Virginia, you must use three different units of measurement: volume, mass, and ratio.

Based on the stringent nature of these criteria alone, it’s all the more reasonable to assume that Virginia’s new laws exist specifically to disincentivize hemp commerce overall. In a nutshell, cannabinoid products in Virginia must not only contain less than 0.3% (to satisfy both state and federal requirements) but must also contain less than 2mg THC per package.

This 2mg-per-package limit for THC is not universal, however. If it can be calculated that the ratio of CBD to THC in the package is no lesser than 25 to 1, Virginia’s 2mg THC limit can be exceeded.

How does Virginia’s 25:1 CBD:THC limit work in practice?

Let’s take a look at a theoretical example. A CBD gummy product currently on the shelves in Virginia contains 250mg CBD and exactly 0.3% THC, remaining within the federal limit. The overall volume of the CBD oil package, however, is 1000ml. At 0.3%, this means that the total THC content of the package is 3mg, exceeding Virginia’s 2mg-per-package limit.

If a shop owner is proficient at calculating ratios, they might be able to determine that the ratio of CBD to THC in this product is closer to 75:1 than 25:1. This same calculation must be performed for all CBD products offered in a shop, however, which is prohibitively time-consuming.

There’s also one important point we have yet to cover: All converted forms of THC are now also considered THC under Virginia’s new hemp law, including delta 8 and other analogues that have recently become popular. Plus, any edible CBD product — including gummies, tinctures, capsules, lozenges, etc. — must now be equipped with a childproof cap to be sold in Virginia if it contains any trace of THC at all.

Additional hemp commerce restrictions in Virginia

Here are some additional measures that may prohibit you from marketing hemp cannabinoid products in Virginia:

– All retailers of hemp products in Virginia must now submit an Edible Hemp Products Disclosure Form (PDF)
– New labeling requirements include the presence of a certificate of analysis (COA) from an approved independent lab
– Hemp producers must provide approved third-party lab reports for any product upon request
– All products containing synthetic derivatives of THC are banned
– Topical hemp products are now subject to strict labeling requirements

Hemp product fines in Virginia

Perhaps most important to note for prospective hemp producers in Virginia is that the state has set the base fine for hemp offenses at $10,000 per offense per day. As a result, some small businesses have already accumulated nearly $100,000 in fines3, no doubt succeeding in the Virginia legislature’s stated goal of shutting them down.

Is it legal to grow hemp in Virginia?

Yes, it is legal to grow hemp in Virginia4, and hemp cultivators are not as restricted in the state as hemp retailers. For the purposes of Virginia law, the point at which a hemp cultivator offloads their harvest to a hemp processor is not considered a “retail sale,” so farmers who grow hemp in the state do not need to make sure their biomass contains less than 2mg THC or has a 25:1 CBD:THC ratio.

Virginia’s other hemp restrictions only apply to farmers when they both cultivate and sell hemp for retail sale. As a result, the onerous restrictions Virginia has placed on hemp retailers will disincentivize many growers from increasing their scope of business by processing the hemp they grow into retail products.

Do you need a license to grow hemp in Virginia?

Yes, licensing is required to grow hemp in Virginia. Hemp licenses are issued by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and cost $150 per year.

Virginia Industrial Hemp Cultivator Application (PDF)

Virginia hemp cultivation license process

There is no yearly application deadline for hemp cultivation applications in Virginia, so applicants can provide the necessary documentation to VDACS whenever they choose. According to VDACS, it takes around 45 days for applications to be approved, and hemp cultivation registration lasts for exactly one year from the date of issuance.

Before VDACS can accept your hemp application, you must obtain and submit an FBI Identity History Summary, which must be dated no further than 60 days before the date of your application. This document from the FBI is only required once for each key participant in your hemp operation, however.

Put as simply as possible, the process of acquiring a hemp license in Virginia should look something like this:

– Decide you want to grow hemp in Virginia
– Acquire an FBI Identity History Summary
– Within 60 days, submit your application to VDACS
– Wait around 45 days for approval
– Plan to submit your next application at least 45 days before your current license expires

What requirements does Virginia have of its hemp cultivators?

Hemp cultivators in Virginia must submit regular reports of their activities to VDACS or risk their licenses being revoked. In addition to submitting an Industrial Hemp Registration Change Form whenever they expand into new fields or make any changes to existing cultivation setups, Virginia hemp cultivators must also submit planting reports within 14 days of planting seeds and harvest reports within 5 days of harvesting mature hemp. It is also necessary for Virginia hemp cultivators to test their harvested hemp before selling it.

What other types of Virginia hemp licensing are there?

In addition to its Industrial Hemp Cultivator licensing, Virginia also offers two other types of licenses that hemp professionals operating in the state may need to acquire:

Virginia industrial hemp handler application

Under Virginia law, someone is a hemp handler if they “temporarily possess industrial hemp grown in compliance with state or federal law” and the hemp has not been processed. So, this licensing is required for anyone aside from the registered cultivator of unprocessed hemp products (i.e. biomass) who possesses or transports them for any amount of time. Hemp handler licensing in Virginia costs $250 per person per year.

Virginia Industrial Hemp Handler Application (PDF)

Virginia industrial hemp processor application

In Virginia, an industrial hemp processor is anyone who “converts industrial hemp into a hemp product.” So, any person involved in transforming unprocessed hemp into retailable hemp products in Virginia must acquire a hemp processor license, which costs $200 per year.

Industrial Hemp Processor Registration Application (PDF)

Does Virginia have a good climate for hemp cultivation?

Yes, Virginia has one of the best climates in the nation for hemp cultivation, standing in stark contrast with the state’s highly restrictive regulatory environment as it pertains to hemp. Hemp has been grown in Virginia since the earliest days of colonization, making current attitudes in the state all the more perplexing.

The bottom line: Is starting a hemp business in Virginia a good idea?

At this point, we cannot recommend starting a hemp business in the state of Virginia. The new regulations that became law in 2023 have put a considerable damper on hemp enthusiasm in the state, and not without just cause. As a direct result of this legislation, it is undeniably harder to thrive or even survive as a Virginia hemp business — again, an explicitly stated goal of the bill’s proponents.

For those willing to toe the line to the furthest extreme, there may still be opportunity to be found in Virginia’s hemp market. With many states, however (even those with comparably ideal climates), offering far greater incentives to hemp businesses, Virginia may simply be a state to avoid during this current chapter of the history of hemp.

Sources

1. Webb, A. (2023, May 2). New VA law pulling CBD products off retail shelves. https://www.wdbj7.com. https://www.wdbj7.com/2023/05/02/new-va-law-pulling-cbd-products-off-retail-shelves/

2. Starting July 1, amendments to Virginia’s food and drink and industrial hemp laws take effect. (n.d.). https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/press-releases-230615-hemp-product-enforcement.shtml

3. Israel, S. (2023, August 10). Virginia hemp product retailers slapped with fines under new law. MJBizDaily. https://mjbizdaily.com/virginia-hemp-product-retailers-slapped-with-fines-under-new-law/

4. Industrial Hemp. (n.d.). https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services-hemp.shtml

How to Start a Hemp Business in Oregon

Oregon is famous for being one of the most hemp-friendly states. All of the nation’s preeminent hemp cannabinoid companies have emerged out of Oregon, and the consumer market within the state is very open to cannabis of all kinds.

Is it still worth staking a claim in the competitive Oregon hemp market, however, or is the bar to entry too high for an average entrepreneur? Learn if Oregon is a state where it makes sense to grow, process, or retail hemp over the course of this comprehensive guide.

Oregon cannabinoid law overview

  • The only restriction Oregon has emplaced on hemp commerce is a requirement that sales only be made to individuals 21 years of age or older (PDF fact sheet)
  • Oregon was one of the first states to create an adult-use cannabis program
  • As a result, marketing cannabinoid products in the state is unlikely to be problematic in any way
  • It is important to make sure state officials do not confuse your products with adult-use or medical cannabis products, however
  • Great caution must, therefore, be taken to limit the THC concentration in cannabinoid products sold in Oregon to 0.3% or lower

Can I sell CBD in Oregon?

Yes, you can sell CBD products in Oregon, and the state generally provides a conducive environment for such business activities. The federal 0.3% THC restriction applies, of course, but aside from that, Oregon simply asks that you don’t sell CBD to minors.

Both culturally and geographically, Oregon has historically been adjacent to neighboring California, so its acceptance of CBD can be chalked up to a shared sympathy for the cannabis plant. As long as you adhere to the established legal parameters, Oregon regulators are likely to have minimal interference with your hemp business operations.

Is it legal to grow hemp in Oregon?

Yes, growing hemp is legal in Oregon, and the practice is even encouraged by the state government², which describes hemp cultivation as “another opportunity for Oregon agriculture to grow.”  In comparison to other states, Oregon provides a great deal of education to prospective hemp growers, and the application process is very clear. However, the fees associated with growing hemp in Oregon are relatively high.

Do you need a license to grow hemp in Oregon?

Yes, individuals involved in growing, processing, or breeding hemp in Oregon must be properly licensed to avoid facing considerable fines. In addition to imposing licensing requirements, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) also has a vast library of rules and regulations³ that any prospective hemp operator in the state should peruse carefully.

Simplifying the process considerably from the norm, Oregon has condensed its hemp licensing framework into just two main types of licenses, a Hemp Grower License and a Hemp Handler License, alongside a little-used Hemp Seed License. We’ll provide details on all three types of licensing below:

Oregon Hemp Grower License

Oregon defines hemp growers as businesses that grow, harvest, and dry hemp. Regardless of when you acquired your license, all Oregon hemp grower permits expire on December 31st of the year in which they were issued. Additionally, initial licensing and renewals must take place before May 31st of the year in which you intend to grow hemp.

Acquiring a hemp grower license in Oregon is usually simple and follows this general flow:

– Determine if the county in which you intend to grow hemp has imposed a moratorium on hemp cultivation
– As of 2023, the only counties to do so are Douglas and Jackson
– Download an Oregon Hemp Grower License Application (PDF)
– Submit the completed form along with a $350 hemp grower license fee and an $875 hemp grow site license
– A key participant fee of $75 is also required for each individuals in your company involved in growing hemp
– All these fees recur when you register again next year

Oregon Hemp Handler License

In Oregon, a hemp handler is any “business that processes cannabinoids from hemp.” This means that if your business is involved in removing and concentrating the cannabinoids present in hemp in any way, you need to acquire a Hemp Handler License. These rules apply to both hemp-related businesses and also individuals involved in refining cannabis products who are not affiliated with an Oregon-registered LLC.

As with the state’s licenses for hemp growers, Hemp Handler Licenses also expire on December 31st. There is no mandatory date each year by which hemp handlers must be licensed, but you must acquire a valid license number before handling hemp. Here’s how the process of acquiring an Oregon Hemp Handler license works:

– If your business is involved in the processing of hemp products in any way, you need a Hemp Handler License
– There are no county-based restrictions for this type of hemp licensing
– Simply download an Oregon Hemp Handler Application (PDF) and submit it, allowing enough time for approval before you begin handling hemp
– Hemp handler licensing costs $2,275 in Oregon and is accompanied by a “Hemp Handler Reciprocity License” that costs $875
– These fees recur the next time you register

Oregon Hemp Seed License

Hemp seed licensing is only required of individuals involved in the production or sale of hemp seeds, a type of activity that only larger hemp companies usually engage in. If you intend to produce hemp seeds for commercial purposes in Oregon, you will need all three types of licensing: a Hemp Grower License, a Hemp Handler License, and an Oregon Hemp Seed License (PDF). Hemp seed licenses in Oregon cost $875 per year.

Does Oregon have a good climate for hemp cultivation?

The climate in Oregon is absolutely ideal for hemp cultivation. Even compared to California, Oregon is more lush and verdant in its central region, filled with rolling mountains and hills in which other plants do not thrive but cannabis does.

Nonetheless, Oregon does have a distinct hemp growing season, a fact reflected in the state’s hemp licenses, which all expire at the end of each year. So, those hoping to grow hemp in Oregon nonstop throughout the year may be disappointed, but companies that respect the region’s unique ecosystem will find that the cannabis they grow thrives beyond their greatest expectations.

How to start a hemp business in Oregon

Culturally, Oregon is very permissive of cannabinoids. From a regulatory perspective, however, Oregon has erected intimidating barriers to entry that may either disincentivize hemp companies from starting up in the state or even cause established operators to meet with serious obstacles.

For instance, the seasonal nature of hemp licenses in Oregon combined with an unusually high fee scale penalizes both growers and handlers for submitting applications late, but any applications judged incomplete may be rejected at any time. On top of that, the rules Oregon imposes on its hemp professionals are unusually strict, potentially causing growers and handlers to become insolvent over repeated offenses.

Benefits of private labeling

For all these reasons and more, it may make more sense to work with an established hemp operator in Oregon rather than tackling the market on your own. All the best hemp growers and processors in the world are already gathered in Oregon, for one thing, providing both stiff competition and plenty of excellent products already there to choose from.

Consumers in Oregon value CBD and other hemp cannabinoids, so it certainly makes sense to market your products extensively in this state. It may be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s guidelines to ensure your fledgling business operates smoothly and without unnecessary complications.

The bottom line: Is starting a hemp business in Oregon a good idea?

If you intend to start from the ground up with the hopes of catching a wave of overall interest in cannabis, now may not be the most lucrative time to start a hemp business in Oregon. The Oregon cannabis economy, in general, is currently in free-fall⁴, and in combination with regulatory systems that have not become any more lenient over time, conditions are combining to make doing business difficult for hemp start-ups.

Oregonians, on the other hand, have not relaxed in their love and appreciation for cannabis. The current cannabis economy challenges in Oregon are not due to a lack of demand from consumers but oversupply by producers.

The solution in any oversupplied market is to make products that are better than the competition. Consumers will not be wowed by products they’ve already seen offered at the same prices. No matter how long they’ve loved cannabis, Oregonians won’t be able to help but notice if your hemp products are both less expensive and higher quality than competing products.

For now, the path of least resistance between the goals of hemp entrepreneurs and the needs of Oregon hemp consumers runs through those companies that can already be counted on to deliver excellent supplies of white-label products. Find the right backer to provide the top-tier products you need to win audiences and enter the already fertile Oregon hemp market with confidence.

Oregon Hemp Business FAQ

Make sure you’ve learned everything you need to know about starting a hemp business in Oregon:

Do you need a license to grow hemp in Oregon?

Yes, proper licensing is required for all businesses that seek to either grow, process, or produce seeds from hemp in the state or Oregon. Licensing costs in Oregon are quite high compared to other states, and all licenses only last a maximum of one year.

How much does it cost to get a hemp license in Oregon?

Acquiring an annual hemp license in Oregon can cost anywhere from $1,225 to $5,250 or even more depending on the number of “key participants” in your operation. The multiplicity of hemp licenses in Oregon combined with their yearly nature makes the state relatively unfriendly to startups and new businesses.

How many acres of hemp are grown in Oregon?

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service⁵, 2,100 acres of hemp were planted in Oregon in 2022. This number remains unchanged from 2021’s reported acreage.

Sources

1. Sadiq, S. (2023, June 19). Portland State University researchers study the impact of Oregon’s drug decriminalization measure. Opb. https://www.opb.org/article/2023/06/19/psu-research-oregon-measure-110-drug-decriminalization/

2. State of Oregon: Hemp – About hemp. (n.d.). https://www.oregon.gov/oda/programs/hemp/pages/abouthemp.aspx

3. State of Oregon: Hemp – Hemp Laws and rules. (n.d.). https://www.oregon.gov/oda/programs/Hemp/Pages/HempLawsRules.aspx

4. Rogoway, M. (2023, July 17). Oregon’s cannabis economy is a wreck: ‘Everybody would say it’s in a crisis.’ The Seattle Times. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/oregons-cannabis-economy-is-a-wreck-everybody-would-say-its-in-a-crisis/?utm_source=flipboard&utm_content=other

5. PRESS RELEASE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE. (n.d.). NASS. https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Idaho/Publications/Crops_Press_Releases/2023/HEMP.pdf

How to Start a Hemp Business in Colorado

Colorado was one of the first states in the nation where hemp commerce reemerged. Is Colorado, once a bastion of hemp cultivation, still a ripe land for starting a cannabinoid business? Learn all about the incentives and barriers that hemp cultivators might encounter in Colorado throughout this comprehensive guide.

Colorado cannabinoid law overview

– Colorado hemp commerce is overseen by two entities: the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)
– CDA oversees hemp cultivation¹
– CDPHE oversees hemp processing²
– Hemp cultivation licensing costs $500 per year plus $5 per acre of outdoor cultivation or $3 per 1,000 square feet of indoor cultivation
– Hemp processing costs an annual fee of $1600 per registered business
– CDA also oversees hemp seed licenses³, which cost between $75 and $700 per year
– Consumer sales of hemp products are not overseen in Colorado, incentivizing operators to choose a white-label approach

Can I sell CBD in Colorado?

Yes, sales of finished CBD products to consumers are not overseen by any Colorado state government entity. In that regard, law defaults to the federal precedent, which dictates that CBD products are legal so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.

Is it legal to grow hemp in Colorado?

Cultivating and processing hemp is under the jurisdiction of Colorado state law. Licensing must be acquired for either activity, which is inexpensive in relation to the national average.

Colorado holds steady as one of the most popular states for hemp cultivation with Cannabis Business Times⁴ reporting that 10,100 acres were planted and 3,100 acres harvested in the state in 2022. While the Colorado hemp market is no doubt competitive, those seeking to either cultivate or retail hemp within the state should find a highly receptive audience.

Do you need a license to grow hemp in Colorado?

Yes, licensing is required to cultivate hemp in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Agriculture generally makes it simple for hemp cultivators to acquire licensing, and fees are kept low to incentivize cultivators to enter the market.

Finding adequate acreage in prime arable land may be difficult, though, given the increased land acquisitions by affluent individuals⁵ in agricultural states like Colorado. Leveraging out-of-state hemp sources may provide an advantage over local producers lacking adequate land to achieve optimum output.

Colorado hemp cultivation license process

Acquiring a hemp cultivation license in Colorado is a relatively straightforward process overseen by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. A base fee of $500 per year is combined with a per-square-foot fee of $3 for indoor grows or a per-acre fee of $5 for outdoor operations. Licenses must be acquired and renewed on a yearly basis, and CDA generally either accepts or rejects applications within 45 days.

Colorado Hemp License Application Portal

Colorado hemp processing license process

Processing raw hemp materials into extracts or finished products is overseen by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, not CDA. The CDPHE also requires that hemp operators under its jurisdiction register their businesses, but only once, and the price for hemp processing registration in Colorado is only $1,600 per year.

As a result, Colorado would be an ideal state for processing bulk biomass into cannabinoid extracts. However, the state only allows hemp processors to choose from a very limited list of “approved sources⁶,” all of which are in-state growers of hemp. If you specify a hemp biomass source other than an approved business on your application, it may face rejection.

Colorado businesses seeking to process hemp must also understand the difference between Safe Harbor and Not Safe Harbor hemp processing operations. If a business produces products with more than 1.75mg THC per container, it is protected under Colorado state law and subject to a separate application process. Businesses producing products containing less than 1.75mg THC per volume must submit a Not Safe Harbor application instead.

Both application types cost $100 per application and $1,500 per registration per year. Registration periods generally begin on July 1st and end on June 30th of every year.

If you change your business name or start a new hemp processing business, you will need to re-register. The same rule applies if you change from a Safe Harbor to a Not Safe Harbor Colorado hemp processing business.

Not Safe Harbor Colorado Hemp Processing Registration Form (PDF)
Safe Harbor Colorado Hemp Processing Registration Form (PDF)

Colorado hemp seed labeler license

If you intend to produce hemp seeds for commercial distribution in Colorado, you are required to acquire a Colorado hemp seed labeler license. This license technically allows you to enter your seeds into Colorado’s approved registry of seed strains, thus the name “labeler license.” This type of licensing can cost as little as $75 for existing seed labelers opening new locations but may cost as much as $700 depending on the scope of your operation.

Colorado Seed Labeler License Application Form (PDF)

Does Colorado have a good climate for hemp cultivation?

Colorado is generally considered to have a reasonably good climate for hemp cultivation. Parts of the state experience considerably frigid winters, but the summer growing season is more than capable of sustaining abundant crop growth with snow runoff from the Rocky Mountain chain, which bisects the state north to south.

Much of the cropland in Colorado has seen many generations of improper stewardship and may not be as arable as could be desired. With proper understanding of sustainable agriculture, it’s possible to revitalize even the most barren land and transform it into a hemp cultivation paradise. Smaller companies and start-ups lack the capital to finance these types of operations, however, making it more economical to import finished hemp products from other states.

How to start a hemp business in Colorado

When starting a hemp-related business in Colorado, the barriers to entry are the lowest when you limit your scope of operations to simply marketing finished hemp products to consumers. Sellers of CBD and other federally compliant hemp products do not need to register in Colorado, bypassing the requirement that producers limit their sources to state-approved companies.

Benefits of private labeling

One way to potentially bypass this requirement is to register as a seed labeler in Colorado and then use your registered seeds to grow your own hemp, which you then process in-state. Along the way, though, you will need to acquire three different types of licensing, all of which are renewed on a yearly basis. The logistical overhead of this approach alone should be enough to illustrate the profound benefits of importing finished hemp products into Colorado that were produced by a white labeler in a different state.

The bottom line: Is starting a hemp business in Colorado a good idea?

Culturally, Colorado is a very ripe market for cannabinoid commerce. It was both one of the first states to allow hemp cultivation and one of the first states to put in place an adult-use cannabis program. To residents of Colorado, even intoxicating forms of cannabis have become commonplace, making non-intoxicating cannabinoid products even more mainstream.

The quality of products produced within Colorado may be considerably lower than what is achievable in finished cannabinoid products imported from other states. While Colorado-made hemp products can only be produced by approved entities, products formulated in other states are drawn from a nationwide pool of highly competitive, large-scale hemp producers.

Savvy entrepreneurs will recognize the vast potential for growth within the Colorado hemp market while sidestepping the onerous burdens imposed by state regulators. The best way to achieve this goal is to purchase bulk finished products made by out-of-state producers and then market them to Colorado residents.

Colorado Hemp Business FAQ

Learn more about the process of producing or selling CBD in Colorado below:

1. Is hemp legal in Colorado?

Yes, industrial hemp is legal in Colorado. As one of the first states in the nation to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes, Colorado has been careful to delineate the separations between hemp and cannabis production since 2012. The State of Colorado directly oversees the state’s industrial hemp program⁷, and jurisdiction is then split between two state sub-agencies.

2. Is it legal to buy CBD in Colorado?

Yes, the only restriction Colorado has imposed on purchasing CBD or other hemp products is that purchasing individuals must be at least 18 years old⁸. Otherwise, the state’s position reverts to federal law, which simply stipulates that hemp products must contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC to be sold as industrial hemp.

3. Do you need a special license to sell CBD in Colorado?

No, it is not necessary to acquire a special license to sell CBD or other hemp products in Colorado. The state simply asks that businesses do not sell products to individuals under 18 years old. This system greatly incentivizes businesses to import products from out-of-state sources since, otherwise, multiple forms of licensing may be required.

4. Do you need a license to process hemp in Colorado?

Yes, depending on the scope of your operation, you may need to acquire as many as three different types of licensing to grow or process hemp in Colorado with a combined cost of thousands of dollars per year. While Colorado’s hemp processing fees are lower than the fees imposed in some other states, lists of approved sources and other regulations are strict, making it easier to import finished hemp products that were processed in other states.

Sources

1. Hemp | Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). https://ag.colorado.gov/plants/hemp
2. Processing, Sales, and Distribution | Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). https://ag.colorado.gov/plants/hemp/processing-sales-and-distribution
3. Seed | Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). https://ag.colorado.gov/plants/seed
4. StackPath. (n.d.). https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/news/montana-south-dakota-orgeon-report-most-acres-hemp-planted-usda-nass-survey/#:~:text=Colorado%20reported%2010%2C100%20acres%20planted,top%20three%20for%20both%20lists.
5. Orf, D. (2023, January 18). The Truth About Why Bill Gates Keeps Buying Up So Much Farmland. Popular Mechanics. https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a42543527/why-is-bill-gates-buying-so-much-farmland/
6. Workbook: Hemp_SourceList_Updated. (n.d.). https://cohealthviz.dphe.state.co.us/t/EnvironmentalProgramsPublic/views/Hemp_SourceList_Updated/HempSourceList?%3Aembed=y&%3AisGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&%3Aorigin=card_share_link
7. Industrial Hemp | Colorado cannabis. (n.d.). https://cannabis.colorado.gov/industrial-hemp
8. Is CBD oil legal in Colorado? | ColoradoCannabis.org. (n.d.). Colorado Cannabis Information Portal. https://coloradocannabis.org/cbd

How to Start a Hemp Business in Ohio

Ohio has been a nexus of American agriculture ever since the nation’s founding. Are this state’s fertile fields ready for hemp, though, and are the people of Ohio open to this cannabinoid’s benefits? Learn everything you’ll need to know to start a successful hemp business in Ohio over the course of this guide.

Ohio cannabinoid law overview

– Hemp cultivation and processing are legal in Ohio
– The state has also legalized the sale of hemp products
– Ohio does not impose considerable obstacles to hemp commerce
– All hemp products must pass inspection
– The Ohio Department of Agriculture provides comprehensive information1 for new hemp businesses
– Hemp cultivation licensing costs at least $725 every three years
– Hemp processing licensing costs at least $3,350 every three years
– Ohio has an excellent climate for hemp cultivation
– Overall, Ohio is one of the most amenable states to hemp commerce

Can I sell CBD in Ohio?

Yes, it is legal to sell CBD products in Ohio as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. The state of Ohio defines “0.3% THC” somewhat differently from the federal government, however. While the federal definition of “THC” doesn’t include THCA at all, Ohio follows an alternative approach that has recently become more popular in the context of state laws.

Ohio calculates THC percentage using the following equation: Total THC = (THC + (THCA x 0.877). This equation can appear confusing at first, so let’s break it down.

To calculate THC percentage in Ohio CBD products, you first take the total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) percentage, which should be under 0.3%. Then, you take the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) percentage and multiply it by 0.877 before adding the resulting number to the amount of THC present in the product.

So, say a product contains 0.2% THC but 0.4% THCA. While its THC content is below the federally acceptable threshold, this product would still be inviable under Ohio state law since 0.4 x 0.877 = 0.35, making the combined “THC” content in the product 0.55%, which is more than the 0.3% total THC allowable under Ohio law.

Ohio law also stipulates that any CBD products sold within state lines must be inspected by “the appropriate local or state agency” and meet the state’s food safety standards. It’s even necessary to indicate on their packaging that CBD products comply with the state’s maximum THC concentration as defined by (THC + (THCA x 0.877). If you have any questions regarding this THC threshold policy, visit the official Ohio hemp program webpage2

Is it legal to grow hemp in Ohio?

Yes, hemp cultivation is legal in Ohio and is overseen by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). Hemp cultivators and processors must apply for separate licensing, but Ohio’s fees for hemp licensing are either lower or on par with the national average. Licenses must only be renewed once every three years with Ohio’s hemp licensing window lasting between November 1st and March 31st of each calendar year.

Do you need a license to grow hemp in Ohio?

Yes, it is necessary to obtain licensing to grow hemp legally in Ohio. Compared to the process of becoming a hemp processor in Ohio, applying for a hemp cultivation license is quite straightforward. Aspiring hemp cultivators in Ohio must simply apply for an OH|ID account, and then all required paperwork will become available through the state’s online portal. 

Ohio hemp cultivation license process

1. After registering with OH|ID, Ohio hemp cultivators must complete and submit a hemp cultivation application, which is accompanied by a $100 fee.
2. Then, a $500 fee is required per year per location. If you intend to grow hemp at one site over all three years of your application window, for instance, a fee of $1,500 will be required.
3. A $250 site modification fee is applied every time growers change their hemp cultivation locations.
4. A $150 pre-harvest lab testing fee is applied for each growing location per harvest.
5. Each key participant must undergo an FBI background check.
6. Applicants are required to provide detailed maps of their facilities.
7. For more information, visit the ODA’s official Hemp Cultivation webpage³

Do you need a license to process hemp in Ohio?

Yes, it is necessary to acquire proper licensing to legally process hemp in Ohio. Hemp processors must both pay larger fees than hemp cultivators and are subject to more stringent oversight. Just as is the case for Ohio hemp growers, however, hemp processing licenses last three years in the state compared to the national norm of one year.

Ohio hemp processor license process

1. Register for an OH|ID account, and navigate to Ohio’s official hemp processing webpage⁴.
2. Submitting a hemp processing application incurs a $100 fee. Applicants must pay $500 if they intend to process raw hemp grain and an additional $500 if they intend to process hemp fiber.
3. A fee of $3,000 is required of hemp processors that process the “raw floral component” of hemp, which includes both extraction facilities and smokable hemp producers.
4. From there, an additional fee of $500 is applied to hemp processing businesses that make cannabinoids into “human and animal food, dietary supplements, cosmetics and personal care products” on a wholesale basis. A fee of $250 is applied to businesses that intend to produce retail products.
5. All applicants and key participants must undergo background checks.
6. Applicants must also submit an Application for Certificate of Occupancy (PDF)
7. Once hemp processing applications are approved, processors must undergo a “label review” in which a food safety official will “conduct a label review of your hemp products along with reviewing your processes” with the goal of limiting hazards.
8. Another inspection occurs once product labels have been approved.
9. Processors must also put up a “surety bond” based on how much hemp they bought the previous year: $10,000 for $100,000 in hemp or less and $20,000 if the amount of hemp purchased exceeds $100,000.
10. Lastly, extraction facilities must provide detailed operation plans that comply with Ohio’s Administrative Code.

Does Ohio have a good climate for hemp cultivation?

Yes, the climate in Ohio is nearly ideal for hemp cultivation. It’s true that hemp grows best in biomes where the sun is always shining, but Ohio’s climate offers a very robust growing season that begins by early May and persists into late October.

Though hilly in some areas, Ohio is largely flat, allowing farmers to spread out over vast acreage with excellent lighting. Natural water sources are abundant, and the state economy is largely centered around agriculture, providing benefits and incentives to farmers.

How to start a hemp business in Ohio

The first step in starting a successful hemp business in Ohio is fully understanding the parameters of the situation. To that end, we’ll summarize our findings so far:

– Sales of CBD in Ohio are legal but considerably restrictive
– Hemp cultivation and processing fees are low in Ohio, but the level of government oversight is high
– Both Ohio’s culture and climate are largely friendly to hemp

Most important for prospective Ohio hemp entrepreneurs to consider are the considerable compliance requirements imposed by the state government. In addition to government-mandated training, Ohio hemp processors must submit to labeling requirements and post surety bonds in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Even if you fulfill all your obligations as an Ohio hemp processor, there are still the state’s highly specific labeling guidelines to consider. Instead of following the general definition of THC content in hemp products, Ohio also includes THCA, adding one more factor to keep in mind as an Ohio hemp processor.

Benefits of private labeling

It’s easy for all of this to seem overwhelming to a new hemp producer just now seeking to get started in Ohio. Those who have persisted within the CBD industry since its earlier days, though, are better equipped to tackle the regulatory complexity imposed by the hemp policies of states like Ohio.

In this state, it’s possible to lose your licensing status for seemingly minor code infractions. As a result, it’s a prudent move to rely on the expertise of a hemp cannabinoid white-labeler that has succeeded within the space for quite some time.

Major hemp producers have what it takes to adroitly navigate the regulatory environments imposed by states like Ohio, delivering products that not only meet but exceed state standards for quality and purity. This approach is the clear economic choice, and it makes even more sense to white label in states like Ohio, where initial oversights can significantly set back aspiring hemp entrepreneurs.

The bottom line: Will an Ohio hemp business be profitable?

All the factors are in place for any responsible hemp business to experience success in Ohio. The population is large, agriculture is encouraged, and the only issue is the burden imposed by state regulations and oversight.

If entrepreneurs simply make the right choices to ensure their products are compliant and in line with Ohio’s values, a population of nearly 8 million adults⁵ along with almost 900 million acres of arable farmland are at their disposal. The best way to make these wise business choices is to enlist the help of a trusted private labeler already operating successfully within the inter-state hemp economy.

Ohio Hemp Business FAQ

Familiarize yourself further with the ins and outs of operating an Ohio hemp business in the FAQ section below:

1. Can anyone grow hemp in Ohio?

Ohio does not make any specific restrictions against particular classes of individuals who can apply to become either hemp cultivators or processors. During the hemp license application process, however, you will be asked to submit to an FBI background check. A criminal history may result in your application being denied.

2. How much does a hemp license cost in Ohio?

Applying for a hemp license in Ohio costs at least $725 but may cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the scope of your business. The Ohio state government only requires hemp licensees to renew every three years, however.

3. How many hemp plants can you grow in Ohio?

There is no limit to the number of plants that licensed hemp cultivators may grow in the state of Ohio. It is illegal to grow hemp without a license in this state, however.

Sources

1. Questions. (n.d.). https://agri.ohio.gov/divisions/hemp-program/faqs
2. Welcome to the Hemp program. (n.d.). https://agri.ohio.gov/divisions/hemp-program
3. Cultivation. (n.d.). https://agri.ohio.gov/divisions/hemp-program/cultivation
4. Processing. (n.d.). https://agri.ohio.gov/divisions/hemp-program/processing
5. United States Census Bureau QuickFacts. (n.d.). U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Ohio. Census Bureau QuickFacts. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/OH/PST045222

How to Start a Hemp Business in Arkansas

Arkansas has both a climate and a regulatory structure that are friendly to hemp, but will the state’s culture or economy pose any impediments to companies offering cannabinoid products? These are the types of questions we’ll cover in this guide, which will unveil the ins and outs of starting a hemp business with operations in Arkansas. By the end, it may be apparent that white-labeling cannabinoid products imported from another state remains the best option at your disposal despite Arkansas’ best effort to incentivize hemp production.

Arkansas cannabinoid law overview

 – CBD products containing less than 0.3% are legal in Arkansas, legalized specifically by the Arkansas Agriculture Act of 2017¹
 – Even before the passage of the federal 2018 Farm Bill, Arkansas was already doing its best to revitalize local economies with hemp agriculture
 – Arkansas was at the forefront of the 2018-2020 hemp boom
 – Hemp commerce has since slowed down in the state, leading many farmers to abandon it as a cash crop²
 – The number of Arkansas hemp farmers has reduced from 125 in 2019 to less than 25 in 2022
 – Cultivators indicate that adhering to regulations has made hemp farming difficult in Arkansas
 – Raw hemp oversaturation remains an issue nationwide and is felt acutely in Arkansas
 – Hemp cultivation may be entering a depression in Arkansas, but hemp demand remains at an all-time high
 – The state government recently failed to ban THC derivatives³ in the state, indicating an unabated interest in cannabis-related topics

Despite ongoing challenges, hemp growers in Arkansas face additional hurdles due to strict lingering policies. 

Can I sell CBD in Arkansas?

Yes, it is fully legal to sell CBD products in Arkansas. Anticipating federal legislation that would legalize hemp nationwide the following year, Arkansas passed a law in 2017 that both legalized CBD commerce and allowed farmers in the state to start growing CBD-rich hemp plants.

At the time, Arkansas was experiencing an agricultural depression, which state regulators believed could be alleviated through hemp production. As a result, regulators in Arkansas confidently promoted the state’s fledgling hemp industry, contributing to an oversupply issue that has caused the number of hemp farmers in Arkansas to dwindle dramatically.

To be clear, there is great demand for high-quality, finished CBD products in Arkansas. The oversupply issue pertains to raw hemp biomass, often poorly cultivated and processed by farmers with no previous knowledge of hemp. There’s a significant demand in Arkansas for hemp products, and if the capability existed to process biomass into the types of high-quality finished hemp products produced in other states, hemp products would flourish in the state.

Is it legal to grow hemp in Arkansas?

Yes, growing hemp is perfectly legal in Arkansas, and in fact, the state government has gone out of its way to make the process simple and incentivized for growers who wish to cultivate the crop. The only stipulation made by the Arkansas state government is that dried hemp contain less than 0.3% THC, theoretically leading to Arkansas becoming a paradise for hemp cultivation.

Do you need a license to grow hemp in Arkansas?

Yes, it is necessary to become properly licensed if you wish to become a hemp cultivator or processor in Arkansas. Compared to other states, Arkansas makes it remarkably easy to navigate its hemp certification program with a simple diagram existing on the Arkansas hemp homepage⁴. Any prospective applicant can use it to quickly determine the workflow and fee schedule for their desired type of certification.

Arkansas hemp license process

If you intend to apply for a hemp cultivation or processing license in Arkansas, the first step is to navigate to www.agriculture.arkansas.gov and then find the tab for hemp program licensing. The state of Arkansas provides a very detailed Powerpoint presentation that applicants can review before applying, located at the top of the page.

Scroll down to view this year’s application deadlines, followed by a link to the following important documents:

 – Arkansas Hemp Application Instructions (PDF)
 – Arkansas Hemp Grower Application (PDF)
 – Arkansas Hemp Processor Application (PDF)

To determine how much you will need to pay to become certified, use the embedded JPG table located a bit further down the page. While potentially overwhelming at first, this diagram is very useful for determining how much you need to pay as a hemp processor or grower in Arkansas.

Starting from the top-left corner, take a look at the column labeled “fee description,” and determine which fees apply to your scope of business. All applicants, for instance, pay the “application fee” and “license fee,” which is indicated if you move a few columns over by the field indicated “license type.” If you need to pay a fee for both types of licenses, the entry under this field will be “both.”

Some fees may apply for certain years but not others, such as the “site modification fee” or the “GPS verification fee,” which only apply to new or modified facilities. Every year, though, hemp growers in Arkansas will need to pay the following fees:

 – Application fee: $50
 – License fee: $200
 – Acreage fee: $50-1,000
 – Sampling compliance fee: $100 per sample
 – Minimum total: $400

 Additional yearly compliance fees Arkansas hemp cultivators may accrue include:

 – Site modification fee: $200 per modification
 – GPS identification fee for new facilities: $100 per facility
 – Greenhouse fee: $100 per greenhouse

A separate, yet sometimes overlapping, set of fees apply to hemp processors, meaning business entities that handle harvested hemp in the process of turning it into high-CBD extracts and finished products. The following fees apply every year regardless of the scope of your hemp processing operation:

 – Application fee: $50
 – License fee: $200
 – Processor/handler fee: $500-1,500
 – Minimum total: $750

Additionally, the following fees could be applied to a hemp processing operation in Arkansas depending on the circumstances at hand:

 – Site modification fee: $200 per modification
 – GPS identification fee for new facilities: $100 per facility

Does Arkansas have a good climate for hemp cultivation?

Environmental conditions are highly conducive to hemp cultivation in most parts of Arkansas. The state can experience harsh winters and seasonal weather systems that occasionally damage crops or shorten growing seasons. Overall, though, hemp cultivators in Arkansas are theoretically capable of harvesting abundant yearly crops due to warm summers with reasonably high levels of rainfall throughout the state.

How to start a hemp business in Arkansas

This is certainly not the time to start from the ground up in the Arkansas hemp industry by growing and processing your own hemp in-state. Initial high hopes have been tempered by challenges of oversupply and the learning curve associated with a sensitive plant like cannabis.

At the same time that hemp farming in Arkansas is facing challenges, the people of the state are opening their eyes to the wonders of cannabinoids like never before. Many Arkansas residents got their first taste of CBD from products sold at their local food co-ops or natural food stores, many of which have now been pulled from the shelves as the state’s hemp economy has experienced a downturn.

Benefits of private labeling

A consumer niche has already been carved out in Arkansas that is receptive to hemp and frustrated by the lack of existing, high-quality products. This is an ideal time for cannabinoid companies, whether based within Arkansas or not, to introduce Arkansans to the type of artisan hemp products that are developed in states home to the world’s preeminent hemp producers.

The bottom line: Is starting a hemp business in Arkansas a good idea?

Starting a hemp business in Arkansas is still a good idea even today if you simply limit the scope of your business to the areas that are profitable within the state economy. Biomass producers in the state, for example, often search for wholesale contacts to distribute their inventory, making it a challenging period to introduce unprocessed hemp materials of any kind in Arkansas.

With many companies failing and local products going out of stock, however, there has never been a better moment to pick up the slack with better cannabinoid offerings produced in states like Oregon, which has been the epicenter of the hemp revolution since its inception. Arkansas shoppers are eager to embrace CBD, they just need exposure to the right products.

Arkansas Hemp Business FAQ

Learn more about the process of getting licensed and starting a hemp business in Arkansas below:

How do I get a hemp license in Arkansas?

The process of applying for a hemp license in Arkansas is generally very simple. Just navigate to the state’s hemp program homepage, check the diagram to determine which type of licensing and fees apply to your business, and download any forms you may need to fill out. Then, simply submit your finished application by mail or online along with any relevant fees. 

Can I get a hemp license in Arkansas online?

Yes, it is possible to go through the entire process of becoming a licensed hemp cultivator or processor in Arkansas completely online. All of the required paperwork is available on the state’s main hemp webpage, and fees can also be paid online. To ensure your application is processed in a timely manner, though, you may want to submit your application in person.

How do I get a CBD license in Arkansas?

There is no such thing as a “CBD license” in Arkansas. Any Arkansas business can sell CBD products to any individual regardless of age. No special licensing is required for the sale of CBD in Arkansas; licensing is necessary only if you intend to grow or process hemp in the state. 

Sources

1. Is CBD oil legal in Arkansas? | arkansascannabis.org. (n.d.). Arkansas Cannabis Information Portal. https://arkansascannabis.org/cbd#:~:text=Yes.,production%20within%20the%20state%27s%20borders.
2. Froelich, J. (2022, October 25). “Make or break year” for hemp farming in Arkansas. KUAF 91.3. https://www.kuaf.com/show/ozarks-at-large/2022-10-25/make-or-break-year-for-hemp-farming-in-arkansas
3. Roberts, C. (2023, September 8). Judge blocks Arkansas ban on delta-8 THC, other hemp products. MJBizDaily. https://mjbizdaily.com/judge-blocks-arkansas-ban-on-delta-8-thc-other-hemp-products/
4. Applications for hemp licensing – Arkansas Department of Agriculture. (2023, April 7). Arkansas Department of Agriculture. https://www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/plant-industries/feed-and-fertilizer-section/hemp-home/applications-for-the-hemp-program/

Cannabinoid Laws in Sweden

In Sweden, the approach to cannabis and cannabinoids is marked by a stringent legal framework and deeply rooted cultural apprehensions. This rigid stance often leads to intense reactions towards cannabis use, prompting a discourse among citizens and global observers alike on the rationale behind Sweden’s cannabis regulations.

Some less-than-reasonable misunderstandings of the plant certainly seem to be at play. At the same time, Sweden has tentatively begun a small medical cannabis program¹ that is already threatening to grow out of control.

Will Sweden overcome its stigma enough to embrace the economic benefits of cannabinoids, or will one of Europe’s most progressive countries remain lamentably backward in the arena of cannabis? Find out how Sweden currently views cannabinoids (including CBD and CBG) along with projections for the future of cannabis in the Scandinavian nation.

Are cannabinoids legal in Sweden?

Sweden has put in place a medical cannabis program by which patients can be prescribed cannabis products by their doctor. Other treatments do not need to be offered first — if a Swede patient and doctor agree that cannabis is a reasonable treatment, it will be prescribed without any further hoops to jump through.

Otherwise, though, cannabinoid law in Sweden reverts to the nation’s no-tolerance standard of THC. If products contain even a trace of THC, they are no longer considered to be hemp under Swedish law. Products containing isolate CBD, which does not include traces of THC, have been viable for sale since before the passage of the country’s new medical cannabis law in 2022.

Travelers and citizens should be advised, though, that cannabis has only been legalized in Sweden in the context of a doctor’s prescription. Also, the only products approved are the synthesized THC drugs Sativex and Dronabinol along with select options from Bedrocan, a major Dutch cannabis exporter.

There are no “medical dispensaries” in Sweden; all cannabis is dispensed through a conventional pharmacy. Cannabis has also not been decriminalized in Sweden, with even small quantities entailing harsh judgments under Swedish cannabis law.

Medical cannabis may be legal in Sweden now, but that doesn’t mean cannabis is culturally accepted. Use cannabis publically in Sweden, and you’ll find out just how much Swedes still look down on the plant’s use and the people who use it.⁴

History of cannabis in Sweden

Cannabis horticulture was introduced to Sweden as early as the 1st century AD². Extensive archaeological evidence suggests that cannabis cultivation became widespread by the fifth century AD with sites discovered where hemp retting³ was performed.

Sweden narrowly escaped becoming part of the Dutch Empire during its colonial days, but it remained largely under the Dutch sphere of influence. As a result, cannabis law in Sweden has historically largely mirrored that of its near neighbors.

Cannabis became a major cultural issue in Sweden in the mid-1950s when American jazz musicians began bringing the plant with them when performing in Swedish clubs. Cannabis use among young people became considerably prominent in Gothenburg and other major Swedish cities in the 1970s, and it became associated with overall drug use once Europe’s heroin epidemic hit later that decade.

Over the years, Swedes have accumulated an overall outlook on cannabis that is profoundly negative. A Swedish study⁴ published in Addiction in 2015, for instance, found that men registered in Sweden’s mandatory military service were more likely to be unemployed or in need of government assistance later in life if they admitted to using cannabis heavily as teens.

In a testament to the Swedish bias against cannabis, however, no controls were used in this research. Instead, the authors simply say that the associations they found are “not explained fully by other health‐related, social or behavioral problems.” Any student of the scientific method can tell this is sloppy research that almost seems designed to provide a specific set of results.

History of cannabis laws in Sweden

Cannabis in all forms was made illegal in Sweden in 1930⁵, shortly after a similar law was passed in Holland. Then, Sweden became one of the signatories of the UN Convention on Drugs in 1961⁶, coming into agreement with international positions on laws governing cannabis and other drugs.

Unlike the case in other countries, Sweden has never loosened its stance on cannabis. Or, put more accurately, the first time it did so was by allowing medical cannabis to be offered by doctors — all either in the form of an approved synthetic cannabinoid pharmaceutical or products from Bedrocan.

Sweden has made no moves to legalize or decriminalize cannabis in a wider sense. Adult use of cannabis is not legal in Sweden, and even medical cannabis patients are prohibited from growing their own plants or forming patient collectives.

All in all, Sweden features some of the most punitive and restrictive positions on cannabis in the entirety of Europe. Due to these restrictive laws, Sweden is the last thing from an ideal market for offering cannabinoids.

Which cannabinoids are legal in Sweden?

Cannabinoids are, in general, illegal in Sweden with only a few small exceptions being made. As we’ve discussed, Sweden has a small medical cannabis program consisting of pharmaceutical medications and imported Dutch products.

Aside from this token acknowledgment of cannabis, however, Sweden has mainly kept any product with any association with THC fully illegal. This situation complicates things not only for those wishing to offer THC products but also for purveyors of products containing CBD or CBG, which often contain small amounts of THC, a feature that is usually even seen as a desirable attribute.

Is CBD legal in Sweden?

Yes, CBD products are legal in Sweden, but only if they do not contain any trace of THC whatsoever. If a CBD product is found to contain any THC, Swedish authorities will consider it to be marijuana, resulting in confiscation, fines, or even prison sentences for the offender.

As a result, CBD isolate is usually the only type of CBD sold in Sweden. Even broad-spectrum CBD extract, which also contains zero traces of THC, is only infrequently used in Swedish markets due to the potential of a law-enforcement misunderstanding.

Is CBG legal in Sweden?

The Swedish government has not made any special exceptions for CBG, so if CBG products are to enter the country, they must simply not contain any THC whatsoever. Due to a lack of familiarity with the cannabinoid combined with the nation’s alarmist position on anything related to cannabis, it may, nonetheless, be wise to avoid importing CBG into Sweden.

Is THC legal in Sweden?

No, THC is not legal in Sweden except in the context of its government-controlled medical cannabis program, which mainly offers synthetic pharmaceutical cannabinoids rather than genuine cannabis products. Possession of THC products in Sweden can be punishable by large fines and jail time even for minor offenses, and trafficking THC in the Scandinavian country is a felony with a mandatory prison sentence.

Does Sweden have adult-use cannabis?

No, Sweden does not allow adult-use cannabis, and it may be one of the last nations in the Western world to adopt such a policy. Culturally, cannabis use is associated with laziness and criminality in Sweden, a deeply entrenched stigma many decades in the making that won’t be erased anytime soon.

Can you import cannabinoids into Sweden?

Yes, cannabinoid products are generally clear for import into Sweden as long as they do not contain any THC whatsoever. Great care should be taken around THC-adjacent cannabinoids like delta 8 and HHC as well, which appear to be in the process of being banned⁷ even in cannabis-positive European nations.

Overall, the only cannabinoid that can be considered fully clear for Swedish import is CBD. Instead of assuming innocence until proving guilt, other cannabinoids will likely fall under the same Swedish disregard for THC, a disregard so potent it can even result in jail-time felonies.

Are there cannabinoid manufacturers in Sweden?

No, Swedish law prohibits the production of cannabinoid products on Swedish soil. That’s why all the products offered under Sweden’s medical cannabis program are imported from other countries.

As with other EU nations, Sweden is much friendlier toward hemp products produced within the European Economic Area (EEA). Resultantly, a partnership with a hemp producer already operating within the EEA is a critical first step when embarking on the tricky process of selling cannabinoid products in Sweden.

Sweden: Hemp’s frozen wasteland

All the inhabitants of Scandinavia are known for their severity. Surrounded by a climate of total darkness for half the year and frenzied yet disciplined activity for the other, the residents of Sweden and other Nordic countries have little time to waste on dalliances and distractions.

This cultural context goes at least some way toward explaining the antithetical position the Swedish people insist on still having toward cannabis and cannabinoids. It remains mysterious, however, why this particular European nation has remained so stalwart in its rejection of both cannabinoids and cannabis culture.

If cannabinoids were to take hold in Sweden, the nation could prove a tipping point in the overall march of cannabis across the world. Toe the line and take great caution, but enter into the Swedish cannabinoid market bravely — even if you stick to just CBD at this time.

Sources

1. DeAngelo, A. (2022, June 30). An Inside Look At Sweden’s First Medical Cannabis Conference. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewdeangelo/2022/06/30/an-inside-look-at-swedens-first-medical-cannabis-conference/
2. Larsson, M., & Lagerås, P. (2014). New evidence on the introduction, cultivation and processing of hemp (Cannabis sativaL.) in southern Sweden. Environmental Archaeology, 20(2), 111–119. https://doi.org/10.1179/1749631414y.0000000029
3. Hemp Harvesting, Retting, and Fiber Separation. (n.d.). USDA. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/41740/15855_ages001ee_1_.pdf?v=0
4. Danielsson, A., Falkstedt, D., Hemmingsson, T., Allebeck, P., & Agardh, E. (2015). Cannabis use among Swedish men in adolescence and the risk of adverse life course outcomes: results from a 20 year‐follow‐up study. Addiction, 110(11), 1794–1802. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.13042
5. Sweden, drug use in | Encyclopedia.com. (n.d.). https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sweden-drug-use
6. SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS, 1961. (n.d.). United Nations. https://www.unodc.org/pdf/convention_1961_en.pdf
7. Dréan, M., & Battaglia, M. (2023, June 15). As France bans HHC cannabis alternative, stores rush to sell off stock. Le Monde.fr. https://www.lemonde.fr/en/france/article/2023/06/15/as-france-bans-hhc-cannabis-alternative-stores-rush-to-sell-off-stock_6032081_7.html

Cannabinoid Laws in Spain

Spain has recently become known as an international epicenter of cannabis tourism, raising questions about the nation’s actual stance on cannabinoids. Is the Mediterranean country as receptive to cannabinoids as it appears? From Spain’s stance on specific cannabinoids to insights into the nation’s overall cannabis culture, learn everything you need to know about marketing cannabinoid products to Spaniards. 

Are cannabinoids legal in Spain?

Possession and use of THC-rich cannabis products is decriminalized for most purposes in Spain. The nation also follows general EU standards for CBD products, with the maximum THC threshold recently being raised to 0.3%.

Cannabis is not, however, “legal” in Spain, and the existence of cannabis clubs has led to considerable controversy over the years. It’s also important to remember that Spain is hardly monolithic with individual provinces and cities often imposing their own cannabis regulations.

History of cannabis in Spain

The modern science of “historical biogeography” commonly places the first entry of Cannabis sativa into Europe somewhere in the Iberian Peninsula¹, an area of Europe comprising Spain and Portugal. Using archaeological and geological records, scientists have been able to determine that cannabis use was already widespread in prehistoric Europe² with an emphasis on the Iberian Peninsula region.

So, it would be fair to say that cannabis is baked into the dirt and clay of Spanish soil, also playing a role culturally in the development of Spanish arts and history. Like most other colonial powers, the Spanish cultivated hemp extensively for sailcloth, and as the foremost colonial empire for centuries, Spain had a great need for sails.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the Spanish began cultivating hemp in Chile as early as 1545³, which most historians credit as the introduction of Cannabis sativa to the Americas. Records of cannabis use for medical or religious purposes in Spain are scant, but to this day, the Spanish are remembered for their connection to sorcery⁴.

Spaniards brought their own understanding of the occult, including the magical art of pharmacy, to the Americas, where it blended with the shamanistic beliefs⁵ of the natives. Already accustomed to entheogenic substances, indigenous peoples widely embraced the psychoactive properties of cannabis while colonizing Spaniards still mostly used the plant for sail fiber.

Spain underwent a great deal of cultural interchange during its colonial period, bringing certain spiritual practices back from the New World with it. Cannabis never truly died out in Spain, and the country’s 20th-century views on cannabis use and possession can be contextualized within the Iberian Peninsula’s ancient role as a cannabis homeland.

History of cannabis laws in Spain

In 1992, the Spanish government decriminalized the possession and personal use of all drugs⁶, becoming one of the first European nations to take this dramatic step. While this law did not make it legal to cultivate cannabis or use it in public spaces, it essentially made it impossible for the Spanish government to arrest you for possessing small amounts of cannabis.

Then, in 2015, Spain decriminalized personal cultivation of cannabis⁷ as long as plants were not viewable in public spaces. Nonetheless, Spanish citizens have taken to growing cannabis on their balconies, exploiting a legal loophole providing that balconies are private, not public spaces.

Buying or selling cannabis remains illegal in Spain. Due to the combination of these two decriminalization laws, however, cannabis clubs have formed and flourished throughout Spain. These clubs consist of members who make donations in exchange for products — legally, no actual exchange of tender for goods occurs.

Over the years, various cannabis clubs have been shut down in Spain, or members have been penalized. These actions were always on behalf of local governments, however, with the Spanish federal government sticking by its position that cannabis possession is decriminalized for personal use.

Which cannabinoids are legal in Spain?

The only cannabinoid that is specifically illegal in Spain is THC, and only within certain specific contexts. Otherwise, THC products are decriminalized in Spain, and the nation has not made any specific provisions for other cannabinoid products. As such, regulations regarding CBD in Spain revert to EU guidelines⁸, which stipulate that CBD may be imported into member nations as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.

Is CBD legal in Spain?

Yes, CBD is generally considered to be legal in Spain since the nation follows EU mandates. The EU has determined that CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal for sale within its member nations, and Spain has not made any moves to the contrary. Currently, CBD products are widely sold throughout Spain in boutiques, natural food stores, and similar locations.

Is CBG legal in Spain?

The legality of cannabigerol (CBG) in Spain is questionable since the EU has not ruled on this particular cannabinoid. The general thrust of current international cannabinoid law, though, is to accept new cannabinoids so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.

With cannabinoids like CBG, it is especially important to remember the near-autonomy certain Spanish provinces have regarding import and export laws. Importing CBG into Catalonia, an area known for its lax positions on cannabis⁹, could be easier, for instance, than attempting to import the cannabinoid into Madrid.

Is THC legal in Spain?

No, THC products are not legal in Spain. The reason Spain has so many cannabis clubs is that cannabis use and possession (and, in some cases, cultivation) are decriminalized under Spanish law.

While certain prescription cannabis medications are available through the Spanish pharmacy system, the nation has yet to enact comprehensive medical cannabis laws. Efforts are underway to push this agenda forward in 2023¹⁰, but so far, no system for fully legal cannabis sales exists in Spain.

Does Spain have adult-use cannabis?

No, adult-use cannabis is not legal in Spain. Instead, the country has decriminalized most forms of cannabis possession and use, effectively allowing anyone in Spain to use cannabis without facing legal repercussions. However, it is important to note that decriminalization is very different from legalization.

Can you import cannabinoids into Spain?

It is legal to import CBD products into Spain as long as they follow general EU and Spanish import procedures and contain less than 0.3% THC. Other forms of cannabis import into Spain are usually not allowed, however, since they are construed as drug trafficking.

Unlike nations with medical or adult-use cannabis economies, there is no legal pretext for exporting cannabis products to Spain. Even though cannabis use is decriminalized, importing cannabis products for Spaniards to use could easily be seen as illegal if they contain more than 0.3% THC.

Are there cannabinoid manufacturers in Spain?

There are no legitimate, above-board THC cannabis manufacturers located within the borders of Spain. The nation has not enacted medical or adult-use cannabis laws, after all, so THC cultivation and processing is usually considered illegal drug trafficking.

The situation is different for CBD, though. Taking the Spanish government’s silence on the issue as tacit acceptance, various manufacturers have started producing CBD on home soil. CBD products made in Spain, however, do not benefit from the advanced methods and systems that have been developed in already-established cannabinoid economies.

As a result, Spanish-made CBD products are unlikely to compare favorably to imported options offered by larger producers servicing multiple countries. Spanish CBD producers must also abide by guidelines that are not imposed on foreign producers.

Summary: Iberian roots and Catalonian offshoots

Modern scientists are nearly universal in the belief that cannabis entered Europe by way of the Iberian Peninsula. In Spain and many other areas of Europe, cannabis cultivation never truly stopped. How could a century’s aberration cover up millennia of agricultural practice, after all?

It’s easy to forget, but Catalonia nearly became its own independent nation a few years ago, which the province’s stances on cannabis clearly reflect¹¹. Today, Catalonia is a massive hub of illicit cannabis trafficking, a situation never intended by lawmakers or even average users.

So, Spain represents both the best and the worst of cannabis. On the one hand, it’s the historical homeland of the plant, and on the other, Spain remains burdened by a difficult-to-dismantle black-market cannabis economy.

In such an environment, it’s important to make cannabis seem everyday. Whichever struggles the nation may currently be facing in the realm of THC cannabis, make it clear that non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBD and CBG are in another category altogether.

Spain and cannabinoids go together beautifully, and they always have. By sidestepping the nation’s current adult-use cannabis issues and focusing on the core benefits of cannabinoids, entrepreneurs have the potential to be wildly successful within this uniquely cannabis-attenuated market. 

Sources

1. Rull, V., Burjachs, F., Carrión, J. S., Ejarque, A., Fernández, S., López-Sáez, J. A., Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, R., Ochando, J., Pérez-Díaz, S., Revelles, J., Riera, S., & Rodriguez, S. (2023). Historical biogeography of Cannabis in the Iberian Peninsula: A probabilistic approach using palynological evidence. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics, 58, 125704. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2022.125704
2. Europe PMC. (n.d.). When and How Did Cannabis Reach Europe and the Iberian Peninsula? https://europepmc.org/article/ppr/ppr425352
3. Brill, H. (1981). Marihuana: The first twelve thousand years. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.1981.10471902
4. Hammer, J. (2022, October 31). Spain’s Centuries-Long witch hunt killed 700 women. Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/spain-centuries-long-witch-hant-killed-700-women-180981018/
5. Gareis, I. (2013). Merging Magical Traditions: Sorcery and Witchcraft in Spanish and Portuguese America. Oxford University Press eBooks. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199578160.013.0024
6. Decriminalisation in Europe? (n.d.). European Legal Database on Drugs. https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/attachements.cfm/att_5741_EN_Decriminalisation_Legal_Approaches.pdf
7. Weinberg, B. (2018). Cannabis cultivation decriminalized in Spain? High Times. https://hightimes.com/grow/cannabis-cultivation-decriminalized-in-spain/
8. Sabaghi, D. (2021b, December 14). European Union Increases THC Level For Industrial Hemp. Why Does It Matter? Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dariosabaghi/2021/12/14/european-union-increases-thc-level-for-industrial-hemp-why-does-it-matter/?sh=5a3d8f18128b
9. Morel, S. (2022, April 8). In Catalonia, the law struggles with private cannabis clubs. Le Monde.fr. https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2022/04/08/in-catalonia-the-law-struggles-with-private-cannabis-clubs_5980043_4.html
10. Diariofarma. (2023). La Sociedad Española del Dolor pide una ley del cannabis. Diariofarma. https://diariofarma.com/2023/05/25/la-sociedad-espanola-del-dolor-pide-una-ley-del-cannabis
11. Garcia, H., & Faus, J. (2023, June 28). Catalonia cracks down on booming marijuana industry. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/catalonia-cracks-down-booming-marijuana-industry-2023-06-28/

Cannabinoid Laws in Austria

Formerly the core of the vast Middle-Ages nation of Bavaria, Austria is still considered by some to be the ancestral homeland of Bavarian culture, renowned for its comprehensive grasp of science and the arts. Both the modern-day Germans and Austrians owe their culture to the Bavarians and their ancestors, who have used cannabis for thousands of years¹.

Modern-day Austria has gotten out of touch with its roots in cannabis in some ways, but it was also one of the first European nations to ease its cannabis laws. How has Austria’s unique stance on cannabis affected its presence in the international cannabinoid market? We’ll delve into all the relevant complexities over the course of this comprehensive guide.

Are cannabinoids legal in Austria?

³In regards to CBD and other hemp cannabinoids, Austria generally follows European Union guidelines, which were recently updated to increase the allowable amount of THC² in hemp products from 0.2% to 0.3%. The EU has not yet ruled on other CBD-adjacent cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, leading to these substances receiving the same general treatment as CBD in Austria and elsewhere.

As far as THC goes, Austria decriminalized the possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis in 2016³. As a result, overall positions on cannabis in Austria are remarkably lax, but giving any impression that you are supplying large amounts of cannabinoids could draw attention since the nation has hardly any medical or adult-use cannabis infrastructure.

History of cannabis in Austria

Over the course of history, the borders of Europe have been redrawn so many times that modern national affiliations should only be viewed in the context of relatively recent events. Considered the center of Bavaria since the Middle Ages, Austria was politically dominated by the Hapsburg house, and it massively influenced World War I as the head of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Throughout all this upheaval, the people of Austria have remained largely indistinguishable from Germans in regard to ethnicity and culture. As a result, most statements true of German culture are also true of Austrian culture, such as the fondness both peoples share for cannabis.

The wider German cultural sphere has held cannabis in high esteem as both a medicament and intoxicant for centuries⁴ with cannabis cultivation comprising a significant portion of Austrian-German agricultural practices since time immemorial. Cannabis remained widely cultivated in Austria until the passage of the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs⁵. From that point forward, the majority of European states began implementing measures to restrict the cultivation and commerce of cannabis, which was at that point defined as any derivative of the plant.

History of cannabis laws in Austria

Since 1961, Austria has generally treated cannabinoids as illegal substances. Toeing the line between the Allies and the Soviets during the Cold War, Austria did not take any steps to liberalize their cannabis policies until 2008 when the nation authorized cannabis to be cultivated for research purposes⁶ for the first time in decades.

In the intervening years, cannabis laws in Austria have become progressively more liberal. Possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is decriminalized, for instance, which is a quantity much larger than the average medical or recreational user will ever possess at a time.

As of 2016, cannabis is essentially legal in Austria, though felony offenses are still reserved for trafficking offenses. In essence, Austrian authorities no longer care if citizens use cannabis, but they do want to control the flow of large quantities of cannabinoids in and out of the country.

Which cannabinoids are legal in Austria?

For the most part, cannabinoid laws in Austria do not differ from the overall EU position, with Austrian positions on THC products being the main exception. The fact that Austria generally allows possession of quite high volumes of THC-rich cannabis essentially makes law enforcement in that area defunct.

Even the use of THC-alternative cannabinoids like THCA and delta 8 is unlikely to draw the attention of Austrian authorities. They’ll be more concerned about how these products entered Austria, which can be something of a touchy subject.

As long as your cannabinoid business is above-board and you’ve achieved all the proper authorization to sell your products in Austria, you are unlikely to encounter any issues. Just keep in mind that Austria is a “decriminalization” country, which makes the tenor of cannabinoid laws and policies different from nations in which cannabis has been legalized for medical or adult-use purposes.

Is CBD legal in Austria?

Yes, CBD should generally be considered legal for use in Austria both due to the EU position on CBD and Austria’s overall decriminalization of cannabis. It doesn’t matter if the cannabis in question contains CBD instead of THC — for consumer possession purposes, all forms of cannabis are beneath the attention of the law in Austria as long as they are possessed in quantities under 20 grams.

For the purposes of import and mass-market sale, the most important qualifier is that CBD products processed through Austrian customs contain less than 0.3% THC. Despite decriminalization, THC is not outright “legal” in Austria, and Austrian authorities defer to the EU position on allowable THC concentrations in hemp products.

Is CBG legal in Austria?

The Austrian government does not make special concessions for any cannabinoid, including CBG. As a result, the only import requirement for hemp products containing CBG is that they contain less than 0.3% THC. Given the overall hands-off approach the Austrian government has taken toward non-THC cannabinoid products, it’s unlikely that CBD or CBG will be the subject of any further official attention until otherwise required by the larger European body.

Is THC legal in Austria?

As part of its overall push to research cannabis for medical purposes in 2008, the Austrian government also began a highly selective medical cannabis program. Receiving a medical marijuana prescription from the Austrian government is a lengthy and arduous process, however, and hardly any applicants are approved.

If approved, medical cannabis patients in Austria must abide by a framework of rules so abstruse that the black market has continued to thrive unabated. Or, perhaps we should say “gray market” since possession of even distribution quantities of cannabis (remember that an ounce is only 28 grams) is entirely permissible under Austrian decriminalization law.

Does Austria have adult-use cannabis?

Austria does not have an adult-use cannabis system, and the nation does not appear to have any plans to instate one soon. Austria has filled the gap other nations have filled using a recreational cannabis system with their own decriminalization laws, which do little to stop illegal drug trafficking but at least prevent unreasonable arrests of Austrian citizens for cannabis possession.

Can you import cannabinoids into Austria?

Yes, imports of cannabinoid products into Austria are generally permitted as long as the products in question adhere to all other Austrian and EU import guidelines and contain less than 0.3% THC. Austrian authorities are unlikely to raise alarm about cannabinoid products if they are produced by a professional lab and accompanied by thorough lab reports.

Are there cannabinoid manufacturers in Austria?

The Austrian government has operated a minuscule medical cannabis research operation since 2008, but otherwise, cannabis and hemp cultivators and processors in Austria are few and far between. The Austrian CBD market is already largely serviced by foreign entities, but often at the cost of quality and dependability.

Working with an established manufacturer in the European Economic Area (EEA) is an immense advantage when approaching the Austrian market. Not only does it make this populous European nation easier to reach, but it also positions you to enter more than two dozen other national markets.

Austria: A land of unexpected cannabinoid opportunity

In the postwar period, Austria has largely receded from the political spotlight, which seems to have treated the nation well. It still has a long way to go, but at least the Austrian policy on cannabis is humane and thoughtful. No longer are innocent victims locked in Austrian prisons for the “crime” of using or possessing personal quantities of cannabis.

An increased presence of CBD products in the Austrian market would further demonstrate the harmlessness of cannabis, perhaps inspiring lawmakers to fully regulate an industry that currently still operates mostly under the table. Displaying the economic virtues of CBD commerce in Austria would illustrate the taxation opportunities present in a regulated cannabis economy, which could be the impetus the Austrian government needs to take the next steps.

For cannabinoid companies, the Austrian economy is certainly approachable if still a little bit clunky. In the United States, we’ve witnessed firsthand how cannabinoids can be powerful drivers for economic change, a reality that, if properly demonstrated, could inspire the Austrian cannabinoid industry to blossom.

Sources

1. Google Books. (n.d.). https://www.google.com/books/edition/Marijuana_Medicine/o_dKbMFRSzUC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=the+Healing+and+Visionary+Powers+of+Cannabis&printsec=frontcover

2. Posch, M. (2015, November 13). „Legalisierung light“: Cannabis in Kleinstmengen quasi straffrei. SALZBURG24. https://www.salzburg24.at/news/salzburg/grenznah/legalisierung-light-cannabis-in-kleinstmengen-quasi-straffrei-49325959

3. COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2022/1393. (n.d.). EU. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32022R1393

4. Grotenhermen, F. (2002). The Medical use of Cannabis in Germany. Journal of Drug Issues, 32(2), 607–634. https://doi.org/10.1177/002204260203200218

5. SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS, 1961. (n.d.). United Nations. https://www.unodc.org/pdf/convention_1961_en.pdf

6. AFP: Austria allows cannabis for medical purposes. (n.d.). https://web.archive.org/web/20080905104155/http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gMXaMnzKEu6FxfDVlCHd4xMcmEbg#

How to Start a Hemp Business in New York

New York State is the epicenter of big business in the United States. Providing you know the right people, there’s no better place in the country to court investment and start a business.

The state of New York is well aware of its popularity, however, and it has taken to taxing business owners heavily. If you decide to set up shop with a hemp or cannabinoid business in New York, you’ll find that for every opportunity that appears, a new obstacle will crop up as well.

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know to start a hemp business in New York.

New York cannabinoid law overview

– Hemp cultivation and CBD commerce are both legal in New York State
– The New York state legislature¹ echoed the 2018 Farm Bill with a 2019 law regulating hemp cultivation
– Not only does New York carefully regulate hemp cultivation within the state, but it’s one of only a very few jurisdictions to impose a CBD seller fee
– Every aspect of the hemp supply chain is heavily taxed in New York
– Seed sellers, growers, processors, and retailers must all submit separate applications and pay separate fees 
– Medical and adult-use cannabis are now fully legal in NY
– Provisions for in-home cannabis cultivation in NY are separate from those applicable to hemp agriculture
– Entrepreneurs involved in the NY hemp supply chain must properly register with the state or face potential felony charges

Can I sell CBD in New York?

Yes, it is legal to sell CBD in New York. The state imposes a $300-per-year “CBD seller license²,” which any business selling CBD must pay if they want to remain in operation.

If you are determined to be selling CBD without a license in NY, you may be given an opportunity to acquire a CBD seller license on the spot. Officials can just as easily slap you with fines, however, or even confiscate your entire cannabinoid inventory.

Is it legal to grow hemp in New York?

Yes, it is legal to grow hemp in New York State. To do so, entrepreneurs must successfully apply for Hemp Grower Licensing³ through the New York Department of Agriculture. Applicants must submit a $500 application fee and undergo an FBI background check as part of the process.

Do you need a license to grow hemp in New York?

Yes, licensing is strictly required to grow hemp in New York State, as it is everywhere else in the nation. NY is particularly zealous about its hemp permitting process, however, and will actively pursue any perceived violations of the state hemp code. Unauthorized cultivation of hemp in the state of New York could lead to felony cannabis charges.

New York hemp license process

The New York hemp licensing process is quite arcane. There are at least four different types of licensing available, and you may need all four depending on the scope of your operation. The state of New York also keeps related information scattered across multiple web pages, making it hard to navigate to the information relevant to your business. Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about each type of licensing offered:

What is a New York Hemp Seed Seller License?

Even hemp seed sellers need licenses in New York. They aren’t as costly to acquire as other types of licensing, though.

– Link: agriculture.ny.gov/plant-industry/hemp-grower-licensing
– Price: $100 for three years
– Application: Downloadable PDF

What is a New York Hemp Grower License?

This is the main type of licensing hemp cultivators will need if they want to operate in New York State. It comes with a pricey upfront fee, but it lasts three years.

– Link: agriculture.ny.gov/plant-industry/hemp-grower-licensing
– Price: $500 for three years
– Application: Downloadable PDF

What is a New York Hemp Processor License?

This type of licensing is required if you intend to process hemp that has already been cultivated. It is an additional requirement on top of the cultivation license if you intend to both cultivate and process him in New York State.

– Link: cannabis.ny.gov/processors
– Price: $300 for two years plus a $100 licensing fee
– Application: Online form

What is a New York Cannabinoid Hemp Retailer License?

The NY Cannabinoid Hemp Retailer License, commonly known as a CBD seller license, is a requirement for any business seeking to sell cannabinoid products in the state of New York. In practical terms, licensing doesn’t do much to ensure the quality or safety of CBD products sold in New York State, but it does allow the state to keep track of CBD transactions and ensure that retailers are licensed to collect sales tax on behalf of the state treasury.

– Link: cannabis.ny.gov/retailers-distributors
– Price: $300 per year per retail location
– Application: Online form

Does New York have a good climate for hemp cultivation?

The climate in New York State is reasonably suitable for cultivation of all kinds. It is certainly not as ideal for hemp cultivation as more southerly locales like Virginia and the Carolinas, but with a proper understanding of the unique regional dynamics, it’s certainly possible to cultivate hemp in New York quite effectively.

With commercial space relatively inexpensive in NY since the pandemic, especially in outlying areas of the state, an indoor hemp cultivation operation may even be reasonable to consider. While there are certain tax considerations and licensing fees in New York, with the right strategies and planning, there’s significant potential for a thriving hemp business in the state.

How to start a hemp business in New York

The first step in the process of starting a hemp business in New York State is figuring out which type of licensing your business truly needs, a goal we hope we have assisted with by combining all relevant licensing information in one place. Depending on which components of the hemp cultivation and production process you want to take care of yourself, New York may apply any of the following licensing requirements and concomitant fees:

– A hemp seed seller license and fee
– A hemp cultivation license and fee
– A hemp processing license and fee
– A hemp retailer license and fee

If you were to acquire all of these licenses at once, the price would be $1,300. Some licenses stay valid for three years, others for two, and still others for just one year, making it inherently difficult to keep track of when it is time to renew each one.

Benefits of private labeling

The best way out of this confusion is to outsource at least some of the processes involved in producing and selling hemp to entities located outside New York State. As one of the only states in the nation to impose a fee on every single retailer hoping to sell any cannabinoid products whatsoever, there is simply no way around paying the state of New York at least some money per year if you want to sell hemp there.

You can avoid every other fee the state attempts to impose, however, by having your hemp grown and processed elsewhere. As long as your hemp concentrates arrive in a ready-to-mix form, the state will even unlikely be able to impose processing fees and related registration requirements.

The bottom line: Is starting a hemp business in New York a good idea?

The unavoidable truth is that New York is one of the most populous states in the nation, and its residents are unusually proud of their local state culture and economy. There are even plenty of New Yorkers who simply won’t trust anything unless it was made in New York State, paving the way for unique opportunities.

At the same time that the local culture is as welcoming as it could possibly be to hemp businesses, there is room for the government of New York to more fully echo this welcoming position. One example would be revisiting the licenses and fees that are required to operate a hemp business in New York, which are more burdensome than those imposed in other states.

Even California, which is known for its high taxes, is less strict in its licensing requirements for hemp cultivators and processors. And, as is also the case in California and every other state, hemp businesses in New York must pay all applicable business and income taxes on top of hemp licensing fees.

As long as you’re properly apprised, countervailing factors don’t have to be detractors when considering starting a hemp business in New York or launching any other endeavor. NYC has never been a place for the faint of heart, after all, and for entrepreneurs who muster enough courage, the wealth of the Big Apple is at your fingertips.

New York hemp business FAQs

Below, learn more about what it takes to run a hemp business in New York:

Can you grow hemp in New York State?

Yes, it is legal to grow hemp in New York State due to the 2018 Farm Bill. New York has, furthermore, passed its own piece of legislation supporting the hemp industry. Compared to other states, New York poses more challenges to hemp businesses — challenges that capable entrepreneurs will take in stride and transform into opportunities.

Do you need a license to grow hemp in NY?

Yes, it is necessary to acquire proper licensing to grow hemp in New York. Depending on the type of hemp commerce you intend to conduct, you may need to acquire up to four different kinds of licensing, some of which are renewed on a yearly basis. Scroll up in this article for a comprehensive database of hemp licensing information in New York State, complete with links to all relevant applications.

How do I get a license to grow hemp in NY?

The process of receiving licensing to grow hemp in New York is relatively straightforward, but it involves a few different steps, including:

– Submitting a completed PDF application
– An FBI background check for all “key participants”
– Maps and/or aerial photos detailing cultivation and storage locations

Once you have provided all the relevant submissions, the New York Department of Agriculture will consider your application and respond when it is ready.

How many hemp growers are in New York?

New York State is home to approximately 700 hemp cultivation operations. Considering the abundant cropland available in the upstate area, it’s clear that New York has far from reached the limit of its hemp cultivation capacity.

Sources

1. NY State Senate Bill 2019-S6184A. (n.d.). https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S6184#:~:text=This%20legislation%20establishes%20the%20regulation,of%20products%20and%20product%20labeling.

2. Retailers & distributors. (n.d.). Office of Cannabis Management. https://cannabis.ny.gov/retailers-distributors

3. Hemp grower licensing. (n.d.). Agriculture and Markets. https://agriculture.ny.gov/plant-industry/hemp-grower-licensing

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