State lawmakers decided to table a bill that could have potentially tightened hemp product regulations.
The draft bill that was introduced by Powell Sen. R.J. Kost looked to ban the possession and sale of hemp for smoking. It also would have forbidden CBD, a by-product of hemp, from being added to any alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and food products without the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt testified that law enforcement is struggling with being able to differentiate between hemp and marijuana.
"Hemp does smell like marjuana. Marjuana smells like hemp," said Eckerdt. "It looks like it when you're dealing with the flower in the field."
However, during public comment CBD product producers, retail store owners and scientists said you can differentiate between the two. It just requires education.
Ceci Tolin, a retail store owner who sells CBD products, said if the bill passed it would be bad for her business.
"We would lose out on a lot. Our livelihood would be affected," said Tolin. "So, I don't know why we are taking two steps forward and eight steps backward when some things have already been worked out."
The Joint Agriculture Committee voted to table the bill and discussed introducing a new bill that would just prohibit smoking hemp in public and people under 21 from buying CBD products.