Jonathan Miller-The Lobbyist

 
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Welcome to part three of a four-part series, where we are learning more about hemp CBD by talking to some of the experts at CV Sciences™, makers of PlusCBD Oil™, the #1 brand of hemp CBD supplements in the natural products industry. In a CBD market that can be extremely difficult to navigate, CV Sciences stands out for its transparency and its commitment to creating high-quality CBD products. This company and its PlusCBD Oil brand have become leaders in educating the public and furthering scientific knowledge about this remarkable substance. In addition to its extensive quality control testing, CV Sciences is the first hemp CBD company to invest in the scientific research necessary to receive a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status. It sees an exciting and evolving future, where we will continue to learn more about hemp CBD’s amazing benefits and is investing in making that future happen.

Meet Jonathan Miller, the Member-in-Charge of the Lexington office of the law firm Frost Todd Brown, LLC. He is also a leading advocate for the legalization of industrial hemp in the United States, and a trusted adviser to numerous companies in the industrial hemp space. He serves as General Counsel for the US Hemp Roundtable. 

How did you become an advocate for industrial hemp?

I am a recovering politician, and when I was in politics, I never took a position on hemp.  After I retired from the arena, I took another look at the issue upon the death of Kentucky’s leading hemp advocate.  I realized that hemp could pose an extraordinary opportunity for Kentucky farmers, particularly those devastated by the decline of the tobacco industry. I wrote a few pieces for the Daily Beast and the Huffington Post, that were noticed by Kentucky’s then-Agriculture Commissioner Jamie Comer who asked for my assistance in securing passage of legislation in the state.  Following that we worked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to insert language into the 2014 Farm Bill which launched hemp research pilot programs across the country.

You have become a leader in the fight to legalize industrial hemp in the United States. What’s one of your proudest achievements as a hemp advocate?

I’ve been working toward passage of the 2018 Farm Bill for 4 years now, and no doubt, I will consider that the most exciting moment for the industry.  Right now, I point to the lawsuit I helped Commissioner Comer bring against the DEA to bar them from seizing imported hemp seeds into the country.  Winning that litigation helped launch Kentucky’s pilot program, and now 40 states have followed suit.

What’s your role with CV Sciences?

I serve as their outside regulatory counsel.  I also work with them closely on the US Hemp Roundtable – CV Sciences’ Josh Hendrix has been Treasurer since we got the organization started.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the legality of CBD. Is it legal for a U.S. consumer to buy hemp-derived CBD?

Hemp-derived CBD is legal as a matter of federal law.  States can regulate the sale of CBD products as well, and about 15 states have passed legislation to legalize the sale of hemp products such as CBD.  The remaining states have not explicitly legalized CBD, but no state law explicitly prohibits the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD.  That has, however, not stopped law enforcement and state agencies in some of those latter states to declare CBD illegal and/or take enforcement actions against the sale.

What about consumers who want to order CBD online. Is it okay to have a CBD product shipped to you from another state? 

The interstate transportation of hemp-derived CBD is legal as a matter of federal law.  Again, some states have challenges from law enforcement statements or actions.

What is the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, and how would this bill affect the CBD industry if it passes?

The Hemp Farming Act is a game-changer; it would permanently remove hemp and hemp-derived products from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act.  It would be an enormous boost to the CBD industry.

A lot of people are frustrated with hemp laws in the United States. Is there anything the average person can do to help change things?

The US Hemp Roundtable, the industry’s leading business trade association, has been enormously successful in mounting campaigns to legalize hemp and CBD on the federal and state level.  We still have battles before us, and you can join them by signing up as a Hemp Supporter at www.hempsupporter.com  We provide you with regular updates on progress and empower you with online portals that make it easy to send emails to Members of Congress and state legislators by just typing in your zip code.  Please join us!

Written By:  Andrea Nakaya