An Act Relating To Food, Food Additives or Food Products Containing Hemp or Cannabidiol Derived from Hemp
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, the federal Food and Drug Administration, in response to the passage of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, released a statement announcing that it is unlawful under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to introduce food containing added cannabidiol into interstate commerce because it is an active ingredient in a federally approved pharmaceutical drug; and
Whereas, the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry attempted to enforce federal policies regarding food or food products containing cannabidiol within the State, and the 129th Legislature responded by passing Public Law 2019, chapter 12 on an emergency basis and Public Law 2019, chapter 528 to clarify Maine's hemp laws; and
Whereas, the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry issued new guidelines in November 2019 informing Maine businesses that food products may not be imported from out of state if they already contain cannabidiol "since that is still a violation of federal law and the Maine Food Code. Ingestible products sold at retail in Maine must be produced in Maine." This statement has created anxiety and confusion among business owners, stakeholders and consumers alike; and
Whereas, any compliance with the guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will undermine state sovereignty, diminish the livelihoods of Maine food producers and retailers and deprive the people of Maine of the food that they consider necessary for their own or their animals' health and well-being; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §2158-A, as amended by PL 2019, c. 528, §11, is further amended to read:
§ 2158-A. Food, food additives and food products containing hemp not adulterated
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, food, food additives or food products that contain hemp, including cannabidiol derived from hemp, are not considered to be adulterated under this subchapter based solely on the inclusion of hemp or cannabidiol derived from hemp or based solely on the place of origin of hemp or cannabidiol derived from hemp or any other ingredient included in the food, food additive or food product. The nonpharmaceutical or nonmedical production, manufacturing, marketing, sale or distribution of food, food additives or food products within the State that contain hemp may not be prohibited within the State based solely on the inclusion of hemp or based solely on the place where the food, food additive or food product, or any component thereof, including the hemp or cannabidiol, was manufactured, marketed, previously sold or distributed. A food establishment or eating establishment, as defined in section 2491, subsection 7, may not make a claim that food, food additives or food products that contain hemp can diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or injury without approval pursuant to federal law. For the purposes of this section, "hemp" has the same meaning as in Title 7, section 2231, subsection 1-A, paragraph D and "manufacturing" means producing, preparing, processing, propagating, blending, infusing, compounding, concentrating or converting hemp or food, food additives or food products containing hemp either directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of natural origin or independently by means of chemical synthesis.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill provides that food, food additives and food products containing hemp, including hemp-derived cannabidiol, that are produced and sold within the State are not "adulterated" under state law regardless of the place of origin of the cannabidiol or any other ingredient, and the production, manufacturing, marketing, sale or distribution of food or food products containing hemp may not be prohibited regardless of where the food or food products were produced, manufactured, marketed, sold or distributed previously.
The bill is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry pursuant to Joint Order, H.P. 1502. The committee is reporting out the bill for the sole purpose of turning the proposal into a printed bill that can be referred to the committee for an appropriate public hearing and subsequent processing in the normal course. The committee has not taken a position on the substance of this bill and by reporting this bill out the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of this bill.