California Regulations Leave Little Room for Business

Let True Terpenes be your guide and flavor solution for the cannabis market*

The laws and regulations in California are notoriously convoluted, especially those related to the cannabis plant.

The legislative process has now created a reality where CBD from hemp is illegal for food use, while the same compounds are legal when used and consumed through the recreational and medical cannabis programs.

California regulations legalized recreational cannabis through AB64, which allows for the sale of food and other products that contain CBD, THC and related cannabis-derived compounds such as terpenes. The state also has a parallel system for hemp that has been inching along with several restrictions on cultivation until the recent 2018 Farm Bill. California is now finally preparing to open licenses and the hemp industry to a larger audience.

True Terpenes legal according to California regulations
True Terpenes legal according to California regulations

However, California prohibits the use of hemp and related products from being used in alcoholic drinks or even offered for sale or available to use separately at bars, restaurants or other establishments that also sell alcohol. The California Department of Health has also issued rules that it can’t be used in food, drink or supplements in the state as it’s not legal under FDA rules and laws currently.

Specifically, it is the federal FD&C or Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act which is most restricting hemp and CBD currently. This too affects Californian regulations. The law blocks the use of a compound or ingredient in food if that compound was approved for trials as a drug prior to food approval. These laws are to ensure the safety of the food system and to ensure a pharmaceutical company can recoup the hundreds of millions of dollars required to bring a drug to market.

While these are federal laws, the CDPH and California law dictates that items must be generally regarded as safe (GRAS), approved as supplements or approved as food additives for use in food or supplements.

The Los Angeles Department of Public Health has even said that starting July 1, 2019 their agency will begin to cite those who sell CBD or hemp products with a health violation resulting in a deduction in points from an inspection report. They are also expecting to impound illegal products.

Hemp is also not allowed to be sold into recreational cannabis stores or businesses. Technically it’s against California law for a recreational cannabis processor to utilize hemp-derived terpenes in their recreational cannabis products.

AB 228 is trying to update and allow some of these things. It will allow recreational cannabis stores and businesses to utilize hemp.

The language being added to the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Recreation and Safety Act by this bill is:

(a) This division does not prohibit an entity licensed pursuant to its provisions from cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, or selling products that contain industrial hemp, as defined in Section 11018.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp.

(b) A product containing industrial hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in concentrations above 0.3 percent by product weight is subject to this division.

However, the bill doesn’t address the law making it illegal to sell cannabinoids in establishments that sell alcohol. It says that food with CBD isn’t legally adulterated, but it doesn’t remove the law that requires GRAS, supplement or food additive approvals. It also still hasn’t been passed or signed into law.

With all of this chaos and uncertainty still circling the hemp and cannabis markets, True Terpenes is an easy solution.

We recreate the aroma, flavor and effects of cannabis varieties like OG Kush by replicating their terpene profiles. Terpenes are the compounds that give plants like lavender (linalool), pine trees, (alpha-pinene), clove (beta-caryophyllene) or even cannabis these properties. True Terpenes sources our terpenes from botanicals, and not cannabis, which makes our products legal for many uses that hemp or cannabis-based products simply aren’t right now.

Our strain profiles give you the same product every time, unlike hemp or cannabis which can vary based on the environment or other conditions. And our products are also True Grade: a tougher than food grade, the industry standard for product purity. We test to the strictest cannabis inhalation standards in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and beyond so we can stand behind our product. We test thousands of batches so that you don’t have to.

If you need help with any questions or want to place an order reach out to our team at or give us a call at (888) 602-8441.

*This content is for educational purposes and is not considered legal advice

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