As the hemp industry continues to change and evolve, the regulations and laws overseeing the industry need to change with it. Washington’s Senate Bill 5367 aims to do just that. However, industry professionals are left with some confusion regarding certain parts of the bill.
Senate Bill 5367 was signed into law on May 9th, 2023. This 14 page bill, while short, will have a massive impact on the Washington hemp market.
What is SB 5367?
According to the Bill Summary shared by the Washington State Legislature website, the new law would create a more defined legal line between hemp and marijuana. Since Washington has both a legal hemp market and a legal medical marijuana market, a strong legal distinction is needed.
The bill outlines amended definitions to offer better clarity on what cannabis is legally defined as. According to the Bill Summary, “Cannabis is amended to mean all parts of the plant Cannabis, whether growing or not, with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis during the growing cycle through harvest and usable cannabis, but does not include hemp, industrial hemp, or seeds used for licensed hemp production.”
However, the bill also states that cannabis products are defined as “useable cannabis, cannabis concentrates, and cannabis-infused products as defined in this section, including any product intended to be consumed or absorbed inside the body by any means including inhalation, ingestion, or insertion, with any detectable amount of THC.”
SB 5367 also addresses product additives as pertaining to CBD products. Under this new law, “Licensed cannabis producers and licensed cannabis processors may use a CBD product obtained from a source outside of the regulated system if the CBD product” is not cannabis/cannabis product, does not contain synthetic cannabinoids, and has been tested for contaminants and toxins.
Product labels and violations if the law is not upheld are also outlined in the bill. To read the full bill, please visit the Washington State Legislature website.
According to the website, SB 5367 will go into effect on July 23rd, 2023.
What Does SB 5367 Mean for the
Washington Hemp Market?
While creating some clarity on the legal difference between hemp and medical marijuana, it also leaves some questions unanswered. The confusion surrounding the legal definition of cannabis products, however, has left many professionals in Washington seeking additional help. Additionally, SB 5367’s wording may also cause shifts in the paperwork and licensing necessary to grow, manufacture, and sell hemp products.
Harris Bricken, a law firm with experience in cannabis law, writes, “Selling such CBD products will require licensure by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB), effective July 23, 2023. The WSLCB is set to vote on initiating the rulemaking process under the state’s administrative procedures act on July 21.”
Some speculation surrounding the bill’s confusion points towards lobbying by the legal medical marijuana industry to gain a foothold in the hemp market. While this could offer a plausible explanation, the rumors remain unfounded at the time of this writing. There have been other rumors, though this one has gained the most attention.
Even though SB 5367 goes into effect quite soon, there is still clarification lawmakers need to address before the deadline. As July 23rd approaches, this piece of legislation will have a massive impact on not only the Washington hemp market but their legal medical marijuana market as well.
For Washington residents seeking clarification and/or additional information on Senate Bill 5367 or any other piece of legislation, please contact the program governing your state’s hemp or medical marijuana program.