Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Ed Clemente / MGN MGN Image ALBANY – New York State could soon be regulating hemp-derived CBD products.The state Department of Health on Wednesday proposed regulations in accordance with legislation passed earlier this year establishing a Cannabinoid Hemp Program.There are federal regulations for growing hemp but not for processing cannabinoid products.New York’s proposed regulations require laboratory testing and labeling to ensure consumers are getting what they pay for, without harmful contaminants. The regulations have been anxiously awaited by industrial hemp farmers and processors across the state, as well as hundreds of businesses that make consumer products from CBD, or cannabidiol, extracted from hemp.At media events around the state last month, industry leaders urged the Governor to issue rules before the temporary state program they’ve been operating under expires at the end of October.An industrial hemp pilot program was launched in New York in 2015 in hopes of spurring economic development and providing farmers with a lucrative new crop. There are now about 700 hemp growers and 100 manufacturers of hemp products across the state.In addition to setting quality standards, the regulations create a system for allowing hemp-derived cannabinoids to be used in certain foods, beverages, topicals and dietary supplements. Processors are prohibited from making claims suggesting the products will treat or prevent disease.The regulations are subject to a 60-day public comment period.
With its first piece of legislation of the year, the state Senate on Monday made good on a promise to support a fast-track construction project for a 10-mile car-pool lane on the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. The promise was made because it was the state Senate’s impetuous and early adjournment that delayed the project last summer, and almost lost the state $130 million in federal funds for the project. With this important hurdle now cleared, the only thing it needs is the signature of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who says he supports both the 405 car-pool project and the design-build concept that will be used to build it. The design-build construction method allows a private firm to both design and build a project, taking it out of the hands of state engineers. Schwarzenegger would like to see all the state’s projects done this way. The state’s engineering union, not surprisingly, would not. It would be a tragedy for both the driving public and all the politicians who worked long and hard last summer to get support and funding for the car-pool lane for the governor to hold up the project in order to leverage legislative support for a larger design-build concept for state building projects. While it’s a worthy issue, and certainly something that the state’s lawmakers ought to seriously debate and consider, it’s a battle best fought another time. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In his State of the State speech last week, Schwarzenegger outlined an ambitious plan for massive construction of new roads, schools, courts, jails and other public-works facilities over the next decade. Surely, the governor is hoping to use the design-build construction process for part, if not all, of the building. However, it’s going to be several months, at the very least, before the first of the bond measures to fund the reconstruction project even goes before the voters for approval. There’s no need to rush the design-build debate. In fact, there would be no better way to garner support for future design-build construction projects than to test it out on the 405 car-pool lane. If it works, the car-pool project would forever serve as physical testament to the benefits of design-build. Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger should sign this particular piece of legislation – Senate Bill 1026. U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, managed to carve out $130 million in last year’s federal transportation bill for the $500 million 405 car-pool lane. If it’s not used by 2009, the money will be lost. Schwarzenegger is just rebuilding his public support. Risking this crucial traffic-relieving project for a political fight he probably can’t win right now would be foolish. To paraphrase the governor’s own words in the State of the State speech last week: We say, sign it.