LVCVA: CBD unwelcome at CBD trade show

none. literally.
Screenshot used by permission of CBD.io
none. literally.
Screenshot used by permission of CBD.io

From skin products to easing arthritis to quieting yappy dogs, CBD, the substance in the marijuana plant that doesn’t intoxicate, is all the rage and on the shelf at a store near you. 

But if regulators have their way, it won’t be on the floor at the CBD.io show, which opens Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The industry trade show will generate tourism revenue for Southern Nevada and millions of dollars in deals between distributors and retailers.

While not all CBDs are created equal — some are derived from hemp and others from cannabis — all forms are unwelcome on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

“The LVCVA communicates to show organizers that CBD and Marijuana products are not allowed on the show floor,” says Amanda Peters, spokeswoman for the Convention Center. “We treat hemp the same way we treat cannabis. They are both illegal at the federal level and therefore not allowed on our campus.”

But hemp, codified as part of the farm bill passed by Congress in December 2018, is legal for some uses. 

Peters says “the team is aware of that decision.”

“That is the stupidest policy I have ever heard,” Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who championed legalization of cannabis in Nevada, told the Current. “Hemp CBD is legal under federal and state law and LVCVA needs to get real.” 

“Under federal law the farm bill did legalize hemp but it says the USDA and FDA have to weigh in,” says Cassandra Farrington, CEO and Co-Founder of MJBizDaily, which produces a marijuana trade show at the Convention Center in December. “Until the USDA and FDA weigh in, ingestible products are not allowed.”

“People who are putting CBD in a lip balm are fine.  But putting it in a tincture that goes in water and is ingestible is not allowed,” says Farmington. 

Weed industry conventions are becoming a staple of local tourism, but the longstanding prohibition on product remains. 

“The LVCVA is our partner.  We couldn’t host the show without their facility,” she says. “They’ve elected to follow federal law and we support that decision. It does impact some of the things our exhibitors can do.  They’ve challenged our rules, but we’ve decided to follow LVCVA and local guidelines.” 

Clark County policy does not prohibit hemp but prohibits marijuana and CBD on premises where alcohol is served.  The Convention Center serves alcoholic beverages. 

The county did not say whether it distinguishes between CBDs derived from hemp and cannabis. 

“We are absolutely allowed to sell our product at CBD.io,” says Seth Shaw, CEO of Tauriga Sciences.  The company intends to distribute samples of its hemp-derived CBD gum at the show. 

“All our exhibitors are compliant and have documents to back up their product,” says Robb Hackett of CBD.io. “Most exhibitors who are sampling products at the show are doing so with products that have all the ingredients without the CBD.  Otherwise, they are giving their CBD products already packaged so their potential client can take it home with them.” 

Nevada, while more than willing to embrace the tax revenue generated by the marijuana industry, remains wary of the source of its newfound windfall. 

This, too, shall pass, says Farrington. 

“This is going to change over time.  We are working with what we can work with for now.”

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.