Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA), apublicly traded cannabis company in the United States, announced today that its subsidiary HempMeds® is announcing a new affiliate program showcasing customer loyalty by allowing them to earn a commission by referring customers to the company.
HempMeds is a CBD Oil company, which is causing quite a buzz among medical scientists and patients. The past year has seen a surge of interest in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with significant therapeutic properties. Numerous commercial start-ups and internet retailers have jumped on the CBD bandwagon, touting CBD derived from industrial hemp as the next big thing, a miracle oil that can shrink tumors, quell seizures, and ease chronic pain—without making people feel “stoned.”
A current customer who is signed up under the new affiliate program, now has the opportunity to receive a 15% commission on any sales made to the customers they have referred to the company.
“We are excited to have this new program up and running, showing our appreciation to our dedicated customer base,” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. “One of the most effective ways for people to learn about HempMeds® products is through online social media and word of mouth. With this new affiliate program, we have given even more of an incentive to our current customer base to share the benefits of our products.”
Purveyors of imported, CBD-infused hemp oil claim it’s legal to market their wares anywhere in the United States as long as the oil contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Actually, it’s not so simple. Federal law prohibits U.S. farmers from growing hemp as a commercial crop, but the sale of imported, low-THC, industrial hemp products is permitted in the United States as long as these products are derived from the seed or stalk of the plant, not from the leaves and flowers.
Here’s the catch: Cannabidiol can’t be pressed or extracted from hempseed. CBD can be extracted from the flower, leaves, and, only to a very minor extent, from the stalk of the hemp plant. Hemp oil start-ups lack credibility when they say their CBD comes from hempseed and stalk. Congress may soon vote to exempt industrial hemp and CBD from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Such legislation would not be necessary if CBD derived from foreign-grown hemp was already legal throughout the United States.
Fifteen U.S. state legislatures have passed “CBD only” (or, more accurately, “low THC”) laws, and other states are poised to follow suit. Some states restrict the sources of CBD-rich products and specify the diseases for which CBD can be accessed; others do not. Ostensibly these laws allow the use of CBD-infused oil derived from hemp or cannabis that measures less than 0.3 percent THC. But a CBD-rich remedy with little THC doesn’t work for everyone.
Parents of epileptic children have found that adding some THC (or THCA, the raw unheated version of THC) helps with seizure control in many instances. For some epileptics, THC-dominant strains are more effective than CBD-rich products.
The vast majority of patients are not well served by CBD-only laws. They need access to a broad spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies, not just the low THC medicine. One size doesn’t fit all with respect to cannabis therapeutics, and neither does one compound or one product or one strain.
Some states are taking action against CBD products. The Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) has raided some of the state’s weed stores and confiscated a number of CBD products. The oils, salves, lotions and other CBD concentrates, were taken because the imported products did not meet state regulations.
“The Marijuana Control Board and AMCO staff will be managing this developing situation with the utmost care and concern,” a press release from Sara Chambers, the acting director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office said. “Specific details cannot be released at this time because of the ongoing investigation. Further details will be released as they become available to ensure that licensees and the public are fully educated and informed as to what the law requires concerning sale of marijuana products.”
The problem is that, despite other claims, the DEA considers CBD product to be illegal under the Controlled Substances Act along with other illicit cannabis products. It also means that they are enhancing their ability to track CBD and enforce its interpretation of the law.In truth, CBD merchants were probably always on the wrong side of the gray area in DEA’s eyes because CBD extracts almost necessarily contain other cannabinoids.
As DEA stated in its justification: “Although it might be theoretically possible to produce a CBD extract that contains absolutely no amounts of other cannabinoids, the DEA is not aware of any industrially-utilized methods that have achieved this result.” The difference now is that the DEA is officially putting CBD sellers on notice that their businesses are subject to enforcement action.