• As CBD craze takes off, Massachusetts hands down regulations

    By: Jim Morelli

    Updated:

    It's a natural remedy many swear by, especially when it comes to their pets, but just as cannabidiol — or CBD oil — has taken off, regulations have come down. 

    It's led to a ban on some of the most popular products that's not only taken pet owners by surprise but also the farmers in Massachusetts who grow the plant the oil comes from.

    Adam Souza and his business partner Andrew Wilkinson are two months away from harvesting their first planting of hemp.

    "When you do your research, you really want to cover all the bases," said Wilkinson. 

    What the pair uncovered in that research is what many hemp farmers in Mass. only learned recently. That hemp, the source for CBD oil, is looking like the cash crop that isn't.

    "We had 750 acres of land that was approved for hemp and half of the farmers didn't even put plants in the ground," said Souza. 

    In part, that's because the state recently banned the sale of the most profitable CBD products, including any food product containing it, and any consumable CBD products making therapeutic or medicinal claims. 

    That would seem to include some forms of CBD oil, a popular remedy for pet owners. 

    "Anything, you know, from trouble urinating, to seizures, to anxiety," said Virginia Sinnott-Stutzman, Angell Animal Medical Center.

    Dr. Sinnott-Stutzman, a veterinarian at Boston's Angell Animal Medical Center, says there's no clinical proof CBD oil does much of anything for animals. 

    "Unfortunately the placebo effect with CBD oil is incredibly strong. So if you believe in it and you give it to your dog, you're going to see an improvement," she said.

    Of course, you might not be seeing CBD oil at all if your pet store carries one fit for human consumption. But Adam and Andrew say there are other markets for CBD oil. 

    "Cartridges, lotions, salves, bath bombs," said Wilkinson. "For farmers just relying on the edibles, it's a huge hurt. It's crippling. They're done. They can't do anything."

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