State and local authorities are telling restaurant owners, grocery stores, and CBD retailers alike they must remove CBD products from their shelves. The abrupt change in policy is based on the fact that the FDA does not recognize CBD as an approved food additive. When hemp was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA was given regulatory control over all substances derived from hemp, including CBD. Currently, regulations do not allow for the use of CBD in food, drink, or supplements. The senators from Oregon wrote a letter to the FDA requesting the agency change its “outdated” policies.
Officials from each state have begun cracking down because of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current stance on CBD.
California made a similar decision to ban restaurants from serving food and drink with CBD in October.
Congress fully legalized hemp and hemp-derived products with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, but the FDA was given oversight of how these products would be regulated.
Currently, the FDA does not recognize CBD as safe, and the compound is not an approved food additive.
As a result, any food, drink, or supplements containing CBD are against FDA regulations.
The senators from Oregon sent a letter to the FDA requesting that it change its policies to allow for the interstate commerce of CBD food, beverage, and supplements.
Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is banning the sale of CBD edibles.
Business owners are still allowed to sell CBD topical and vape products, while oral CBD products will still be available at state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
The DHHS sent a letter to businesses across the state saying that since the FDA “has not approved CBD oil as a food additive and it is not considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS),” no edible products containing CBD can be sold.
Officials in Ohio have banned CBD products of all kinds and are investigating seven stores in Cincinnati.
Some stores have complied with the investigators and ceased selling the products while one store had its products embargoed.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is also investigating a hemp supplier, Queen City Hemp.
The department believes a CBD water product from Queen City was not properly inspected.
In the past, the CEO of Queen City has said he believes the company’s products are not under the review of state regulation since they are made from hemp and not marijuana.
New York City
The New York Department of Health (DOH) is banning the sale of CBD-infused food and drink in New York City restaurants and bars.
According to Eater, five restaurants in NYC have been asked to stop selling CBD.
“Until cannabidiol (CBD) is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD,” said a spokesperson from the DOH.
Will the FDA Change Its Stance on CBD?
Although the FDA does not currently consider CBD an approved food additive or safe, it has formally noted that the compound has “negligible potential for abuse.”
In a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FDA said, “we find that CBD does not meet the criteria for placement in any of Schedules II, III, IV, or V under the CSA.”
Essentially, this means the FDA has found that CBD is non-toxic and does not cause addiction.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has made similar findings in its critical review of CBD, stating, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
The review also added “there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
With this conclusion by WHO and the extensive body of research on CBD available, it seems there is no reason why the FDA should consider CBD as unsafe.