Following New York and California, Washington State has now banned hemp-derived CBD in food and beverages sold outside of licensed cannabis retailers, Leafly reports. Restaurants, grocery stores, bars, coffee shops and other businesses in Washington are no longer allowed to sell CBD products.
While the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp (a member of the cannabis family) and hemp-products federally, the legal use of CBD in food and beverages is still undecided. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will make this decision. It is currently considering the issue and expected to rule during 2019.
In the meantime, whether this new ban will take affect quickly or be implemented thoroughly is up for debate. The responsibility to enforce this regulation in Washington is shared by the Department of Agriculture, which handles rules for producers and warehouses; and the 39 separate county health departments that handle retail operations.
“Part of the challenge here is just overcoming misinformation around what the impacts of the 2018 farm bill were,”
Steve Fuller of Food Safety and Consumer Services within the Washington Department of Agriculture said. He added that outreach and education will be the department’s first priority, and that some recommend responses to the new rule may be as easy as changing a product label, so that it no longer directly suggests food use. However, he adds that failure to comply or cooperate or on behalf of companies could lead to more “aggressive” enforcement.
People in Washington who are 21 or older can still buy CBD- (or THC-) infused edibles from stores holding a current license to sell cannabis.
Learn more about the farm bill, hemp and its uses in our article, “The Science behind Hemp.”
To better understand the use of CBD in food and drinks, check out the NBC video below.
Article source: Leafly