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Cheech and Chong Oppose California's Hemp-Based THC Legislation

They defended their hemp THC beverages as "rigorously tested and proven safe."

Cheech and Chong Cannabis

Responding to legislative challenges in California, Cheech and Chong's Global Holding Company (CCGHC) announces its opposition to AB 2223 (Aguiar-Curry D-Winters) unless amended, stating that the bill could severely impact the availability of popular hemp-derived THC beverages and other low-dose products currently sold statewide in liquor stores.

AB 2223 is not without merit as it seeks to build upon previously approved AB 45 but unfortunately, says the organization, introduces limitations that would render responsibly produced and marketed compliant products, which adhere to current regulations, non-compliant under the new law.

"Public safety, consumer demand, and industry viability are at the heart of our mission," stated Brandon Harshbarger, President of Cheech and Chong's Global Holding Company. "Our low-dose hemp THC beverages are rigorously tested and proven safe. They should be regulated similarly to alcohol, not restricted to a 1 milligram standard that is unnecessarily prohibitive and does not align with consumer or business needs."

Andrew Lee, Chief Legal Officer at CCGHC and Board Member of the Hemp Beverage Alliance, highlighted the importance of appropriate regulatory distinctions: "As part of our commitment to consumer safety, we emphasize the necessity for regulatory frameworks that differentiate between responsibly produced, low-dose hemp beverages and the unregulated high-dose products often marketed inappropriately," explained Lee. "Aligning the regulation of our tested, low-dose products to be similar to how alcohol is regulated will serve public desire for low-dose THC options, address health and safety, and positively advance the cannabis industry as a whole."

The hemp industry significantly contributes to California's economy and public wellness. The proposed legislative changes risk eliminating this growing category, removing beneficial alternatives responsibly provided by hemp-derived products.

Ted Whitney of Squared also voiced support for refining legislation: “Under AB 45 these drinks are legal and regulated. We’re seeking to further clarify those laws and build on the success of this category in CA. Low dose beverages provide a massive benefit to distributors, retailers, and consumers in CA, and the amendments we’re proposing will be great for everyone."

As discussions around AB 2223 continue, CCGHC remains committed to advocating for regulations that ensure public safety without hindering innovation or access. The company urges all stakeholders to support legislative measures that acknowledge hemp's significance to California's social, economic, and health frameworks.

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