Bill regulating cannabidiol oil products, other marijuana-related bills roll on

In this file photo, Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, speaks at an event at the Southwest Behavioral Center, St. George, Utah, Jan. 17, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A bill sponsored by Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, that would regulate the growth and distribution of hemp-grade cannabidiol oil products was approved by a House committee Monday.

The second substitute version of Senate Bill 130, “Cannabidiol Product Act,” unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Committee and now goes to the House floor.

The Senate unanimously passed SB130 last week in a 28-0 vote with one senator absent.

Vickers’ bill is one of a group of marijuana-related bills are inching closer to passed the Legislature overall.

“We’re talking about cannabidiol – CBD. We’re not talking about THC,” Vickers said Monday. “We’re talking about hemp-grade CBD.”

Hemp is a strain of marijuana that contains very low levels of THC, the mind-altering chemical associated with marijuana.

What the bill does

The bill comes in two components, Vickers said. The first part asks the Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Justice for a waiver to allow the state to produce hemp-grade CBD medications that can be recommended by doctors and sold through pharmacies.

Read more: Proposed marijuana law would outline patient access, regulate store-bought cannabidiol oil

The second component of the bill would give power to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to regulate and test CBD oils sold on store selves. This would allow the state to make sure the product being sold truly is cannabidiol and not something else.

In this file photo, examples of CBD-based oils used by a St. George family to treat their 10-year-old son’s epilepsy, St. George, Utah, Aug. 11, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

There have been cases reported to the state through the Utah Poison Control Center of people becoming ill after using the store-bought CBD. Tests of the oil used afterward were found to either to contain traces of THC, spice and other substances, or to be placebos and be nothing more than corn oil.

“We have to address this,” Vickers said, adding he and other legislators have discussed possible solutions to the issue.

“We decided the best way to approach this was to regulate the product,” he said.

Scott Erickson, the deputy director of the state Department of Agriculture and Food, said the department supports Vickers’ bill. He told the committee there’s been a hole in federal law related to the issue and that CBD oils in Utah have been an unregulated product in the state. SB130 will help address that.

Though CBD oil is still technically illegal under federal law, Vickers previously stated DEA officials told him the agency is more concerned with addressing THC than its non-psychoactive counterpart.

Marijuana itself is still labeled by the DEA as a schedule I narcotic, which lumps it in with heroin. Those who advocate the plant’s legalization for medical use claim it can help those with epilepsy, as well as ease the pain associated with various other medical conditions.

Read more: This St. George family hopes their child’s experience will make you think differently about medical cannabis

Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, place and date of photo unspecified | Photo courtest of the Utah Legislature, St. George News

Other marijuana legislation

In early February, the Utah House and Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed two marijuana-related bills proposed by Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem.

HB195 allows terminally ill patients to try marijuana-derived medication via a physician’s recommendation. Accompanying this legislation is HB197, which allows the state to oversee the growth of full-strength marijuana for medical research purposes.

HB195 passed with a 40-26 vote Feb. 9 with eight representatives absent. Southern Utah Reps. Brad Last, Mike Noel, and V. Lowry Snow voted in favor of the bill while Reps. John Westwood and Merrill Nelsonvoted against it. Rep. Walt Brooks was absent for the vote.

HB197 passed with a 38-32 vote Feb. 13 with four representatives absent. Southern Utah Reps. Walt Brooks, Brad Last, Mike Noel and V. Lowry Snow voted in favor of the bill, while Reps. John Westwood and Merrill Nelson voted against it.

These bills now move to the Senate floor.

A third bill, HB302, also passed the House and would legalize the sale of hemp-based products in the state.

Daw’s bill will allow someone to participate in an industrial hemp research pilot program and sell hemp-based products provided they obtain a license from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

In additional to CBD oil, hemp-based products can include paper, rope, clothing and other items.

HB302 passed the House in a 57-10 vote Tuesday with eight representatives absent. Noel voted in favor of the bill, while Brooks, Nelson, Snow and Westwood voted against it. Last and Travis Seegmiller were absent.

The bill now goes to the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee for consideration.


Read more: See all St. George News stories related to Utah’s 2018 legislative session


Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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  • commonsense February 28, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    I agree hat consumers need to know that CBD oil is not contaminated and is not a placebo.
    This should apply to all medicinal products sold at stores.

  • Whatteverrr February 28, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Utah is a state where there is NO regulations on and will NEVER be any regulations on “anything you can refer to as a supplement” thanks to Hatch. Yet they want to regulate a natural substance that has been used for many positive usefull purposes for eons throughout history.

    Makes no sense

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