California’s booming CBD industry is in disarray after the state’s health department reaffirmed earlier this month that CBD cannot be added to food, even if it comes from hemp.
“It’s a real punch in the stomach,” said Chris Boucher, who is growing 60 acres of hemp in Southern California, most of it destined for CBD extraction.
The Department of Public Health’s Food and Drug Branch, which regulates human and pet foods, including foods sold in restaurants and at retail locations, announced July 6 that:
- CBD cannot be added to “food, drink, confection, condiment or chewing gum by man or other animal.”
- The source of the CBD, whether from marijuana or industrial hemp, does not matter.
- CBD would have to come from people with “commercial cannabis licenses,” something many hemp-derived CBD processors and manufacturers in California do not have.
- Marijuana retailers must use marijuana-derived CBD in their products. Hemp-derived CBD is specifically banned in manufactured cannabis products, according to Dana Cisneros, an attorney with Cannabis Corporate Law Firm in Anaheim Hills.
“This is devastating for small businesses in California that rely on hemp-derived CBD,” Cisneros said. “… And it is nonsensical.”