Is CBD Legal in the Northern Marianas Islands?
CBD Now Legal At The National Level
In the wake of the federal Farm Bill in 2018, local government introduced House Bill 21-55 (HB-21-55), called “Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands Hemp Farming Industry Act”, in order to better align with national policy. On the federal level, hemp extracted CBD was declassified as a Schedule I substance – in the same league of LSD and Heroin – to an agricultural commodity, ultimately leaving it up to state actors to regulate the fledgling hemp industry.
Is CBD Allowed In The Northern Marianas Islands?
On the Northern Marianas Islands, HB-21-55 allows the Department of Lands and Agriculture to regulate and oversee the use, distribution, and manufacture of hemp products, including CBD. Representative Peter, the biggest sponsor of the bill, is very hopeful that the islands will start to produce hemp to their fullest agricultural capacity. The public and many farmers had been arguing for full legalization of the industry for several years, after CBD started making rounds through the health and wellness markets.
Under the new law, interested businesses have to apply for hemp certifications through the Farm Act. Additionally, they must adhere to policy which states that legal hemp should contain strictly no more than 0.3 percent THC content, the psychoactive ingredient in illicit substances.
The bill has also established an executive commission to regulate the sale of CBD treatments on the Northern Marianas. Acting as a regulatory agency, the commission is staffed by five members who license growers, oversee businesses, and exclude hemp sellers from advertising overblown claims about the benefits of CBD. In addition, the agency controls random crop testing, materials testing, and may require that growers destroy crops which contain more than 0.3 percent THC concentration.
If a grower has been found to intentionally cultivate hemp with more than the allowable THC content, fines, legal penalties or even jail time could result, since the crime is considered under drug trafficking law.
Over the past two years, government officials have met with academic institutions in order to test the viability of hemp under certain growing conditions and to research the benefits of regular CBD use. Researchers are convinced and excited that CBD could have a potentially positive impact on individual users and the islands’ economy overall.
Health advocates and departmental agencies are generally in support of the islands policies, since they seemed to have established a balanced way to support consumer health and industry at the same time. While other states and territories have avoided the issue, or pushing hemp production underground, the Northern Marianas Islands are committed to following public will and making sure the industry adheres to safety standards at the same time.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD?
Researchers claim to have linked CBD to a huge range of potential benefits. Many users have reported a substantial decrease in their physical and mental illnesses, better enabling them to pursue meaningful lives. While more continuous research must be conducted, many are convinced CBD is safe because it has been in use for thousands of years. Some of the potential benefits may include:
- Decreased depression and anxiety
- Improvement of inflammatory skin conditions
- Pain relief
- Better sleep quality
- Neuroprotective qualities against seizures and migraines