HAS CALIFORNIA BANNED CBD IN FOOD?
On July 6th 2018, The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Food and Drug Branch (FDB), released a new FAQ that grabbed everyone’s attention, banning the use of hemp derived CBD in the manufacture and distribution of food products, drinks, food additives, and dietary supplements across the state. Since then, it seems that the CDPH has been preparing the release of another FAQ that could extend the reach of the ban to cover the use of hemp derived CBD in vape cartridges and topicals as well. We’ve taken a good look at the details and this is the deal…
The particular paragraph that’s causing all the concern in the CDPH’s original FAQ is as follows:
“[A]lthough California currently allows the manufacturing and sales of cannabis products (including edibles), the use of industrial hemp as the source of CBD to be added to food products is prohibited. Until the FDA rules that industrial hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products can be used as a food or California makes a determination that they are safe to use for human and animal consumption, CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive, or dietary supplement.”
– From CDPH’s FAQ page
The closing statement clearly states that, until further notice, the use of hemp derived CBD in food, food ingredients, food additives, or dietary supplements, in California is banned. Therefore, if your product isn’t designed to be ingested and you’re compliant with all other regulations in California, you should be ok to use hemp derived CBD. But, you’ll need to check your status if you use industrial hemp derived CBD and your product is made for either human or animal consumption. And, just in case you were wondering, this does include all industrial hemp derived CBD food products, food additives, and dietary supplements, currently sold in mainstream pharmacies.
However, when Cannaverse spoke with Dana Leigh Cisneros, Esq., an experienced attorney from The Cannabis Corporate Law Firm, she explained that the ban is liable to expand to cover hemp derived CBD in topicals and vape cartridges as well.
“Recent communications from CDPH to my office confirm that they are of the position that hemp derived CBD cannot be sold in vape cartridges or in topicals either. Effectively, CDPH is banning all hemp derived CBD products,” Cisneros told us.
Well, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that it cannot be 100% sure where the hemp being used to manufacture food products has come from, which means it can’t be 100% sure that it’s safe for humans or animals to consume. As such, until the FDA approves CBD derived from industrial hemp, it will remain an off-limits ingredient for a wide range of products manufactured and sold in California, including tinctures and sublinguals.
As most people who work in the industry already know, cannabis derived CBD isn’t the same as hemp derived CBD. So, if your product is infused with cannabis derived CBD and you’re a California-licensed cannabis cultivator or distributor, then you’re ok to continue with business as normal. According to the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB), cannabis derived CBD is safe to use in food, food additives, dietary supplements, topicals, and all other consumable products, because its origins can be traced.
So, things start to get a little complex when we begin comparing the CDPH’s ban with California law, Federal law, and the voter’s mandate in prop 64. As Cisneros explained to us, “Industrial hemp and its derivatives, compounds, and extracts, are all lawful in California under the Health and Safety Code.” The CDPH’s FAQ also contradicts the allowed use of industrial hemp in products as laid out by California’s industrial hemp statute. And while CBD derived from industrial hemp is now banned in California, it remains legal on a national level. There’s little doubt that these disparities will spark up further areas of contention over the coming months.
What do manufacturers do about the CBD components naturally found in industrial hemp and in industrial hemp seed oil too? What happens to those products that aren’t consciously made with a CBD that’s “derived from” industrial hemp (like CBD isolate), but that include traceable levels of naturally occurring CBD all the same? Where does the CDPH want to draw the line? This area is a little vague to say the least.
While we recognize just how important (and mind-boggling) it is for anyone trying to meet California’s many new regulations, we’re not a qualified authority in cannabis law. Our advice to manufacturers of food products, food additives, dietary supplements, topicals, and vape cartridges in California is to get in touch with a local legislative representative as soon as possible. Make sure you know exactly where the land lies.
– We’d like to register our thanks to Dana Leigh Cisneros, Esq., from The Cannabis Corporate Law Firm, for all her professional help and support during the creation of this blog post.
On December 20, 2018, the U.S. Federal Government authorized the removal of hemp from the Schedule I controlled substances list, converting it into an ordinary agricultural commodity overnight. As such, the country’s already seeing evidence of the range of hemp-derived CBD products that are set to take the industry by storm in 2019.
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