California to Block Hemp-Derived CBD From All Food Products

The California Department of Public Health’s Food and Drug Branch (CDPH-FDB) updated an FAQ last week to address food products containing hemp-derived CBD and — according to a Canna Law Blog report — it could completely upend the state’s well-established and diverse CBD product marketplace.

“Although 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.” — The updated FAQ, via the Food and Drug Branch of California’s Dept. of Public Health

California law identifies “food” as either:

A) “Any article used or intended for use for food, drink, confection, condiment, or chewing gum by man or other animal,” or
B) “Any article used or intended for use as a component of any article designated in subdivision (A).”

In making this announcement, the CDPH-FDB is choosing to coincide with the most literal interpretation of the FDA’s stance on hemp-derived CBD. Officially, the FDA maintains that CBD products are a Schedule 1 substance and have warned companies against listing or suggesting any medical benefits associated with the products.

The FDA, for its part, recently approved GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis-based medicine Epidiolex, but only as treatment for two very specific, rare forms of epilepsy — and the medicine was created using CBD-rich cannabis plants, not CBD sourced from hemp.

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