The Austin Chronicle

Good News for Bees and CBD Fans

Turtles all the way down

By Jessi Cape, April 20, 2018, Features

On Thursday, April 12, Turtle-at-the-Top Mitch McConnell introduced new legislation that would, if it's passed, initiate radical change in the way this country handles the tremendously lucrative and beneficial hemp business. Leader McConnell's (seriously, that's his Twitter name) Hemp Farming Act of 2018 would not legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use. It would, however, remove nonpsychoactive cannabis varieties – hemp – from the Controlled Substances Act, which is a huge step in the right direction.

While we wait for the law to catch up with science (sigh), edibles have made quite a name for themselves in the states that continue to make landmark decisions regarding Cannabidiol (CBD), hemp, and marijuana. Meanwhile, in our beloved draconian state, neither medicinal nor recreational marijuana is legal (yet!), so many people are biding their time focusing on CBD.

To be clear, products containing CBD oil from hemp can contain trace amounts – less than federal limits – of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what gets you high. CBD won't get you stoned, but it might just alleviate pain, anxiety, and other miserable effects of modern existence. (They're both still considered controlled substances by the ever-helpful DEA and FDA. And by the way, the Texas Department of State Health Services boasts procedures that, because of some confusion with nomenclature, could technically allow state health inspectors to confiscate food products that contain CBD oil. So, while shops across Austin are increasingly including CBD products on their shelves, we're still not in the clear. Hopefully this recent progress will begin to alleviate the confusion.)

Seth Nyer, founder of Bee Delightful – local honey from rescued bees that contains an added CBD isolate – says the new legislation would "clarify the federal legality of hemp and all cannabinoids and derivatives from hemp, including CBD. Come join us and celebrate the introduction of this landmark legislation and help us continue to rescue honey bees throughout Texas."

On April 25, Nyer and his team will host a "pollinator-to-table, honey bee-inspired, CBD-infused dinner extravaganza" at Barr Mansion. At this "Beegan's dinner," the entire menu – prepared by chefs Jessica, Preston, and Albert at Barr's certified organic kitchen as part of the new Tastefully ATX series promoting dinners with a cause – will be lightly infused with CBD. There will also be hemp-infused beverages including New Belgium's Hemperor HPA, kombuchas, and other local refreshments including Austin Eastciders. Bees pollinate approximately 75% of food crops, and this dinner will showcase many of the ingredients that get their origins from honey bees: zucchini, avocados, pumpkin seeds, cauliflower, okra, radishes, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, and blueberries.

Nyer says, "This dinner is so special for a few reasons. It will conclude our social commitment to rescue 1 million bees in our first year. We'll be performing a live broadcast of the entire rescue, starting the morning of the event and ending with a live rehiving of the rescued bees at our organic-certified sanctuary property, Barr Mansion, for all of our guests to see. We'll have beekeepers and rescue operators from around Texas, [and] we'll have experts leading the charge for hemp legislation."

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