Texas Health Department Considering Crackdown on CBD-infused Foods

The Texas Department of State Health Services has proposed an inspection protocol that would likely lead to a crackdown on CBD-infused foods in the state. Lara Anton, spokeswoman for the agency, told the Dallas Observer that any foods with “a statement on the label, in the ingredient statement, or any other material indicating that the products contains phytocannabinoids, CBD or THC,” would be subject to confiscation during an agency inspection.

The protocol draft – which is not yet a rule – would not apply to products containing “trace levels of CBD or THC” such as hemp seed and hemp seed oil.

“Industrial hemp, by definition, should have less than 0.3 [percent] of THC on a dry weight basis. The Department has been unable to find research that suggests trace amounts of naturally occurring CBD and THC in hemp product poses a risk to public health.” – DSHS Proposed Inspection Protocol – Hemp and Hemp By-Products

In a letter to the department, the attorney for the Texas Cannabis Industry Association, Richard Y. Cheng, argues that the agency “has not provided any evidence of adverse health effects of having CBD in food or other products processed by the human body.” Cheng contends that if the department is “concerned about misbranding, the Protocol does not clearly identify that concern” and that it’s “unclear whether DSHS is concerned about the issue of misbranding or adulterated products.”

“Applicable substances include, pesticide chemicals, new animal drug, product of a diseased animal or items held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth. The substances at issue are CBD and THC derived from hemp products. These are merely natural compounds found in non-psychoactive industrial hemp, a Cannabis plant. It is blatantly clear the legislative intent behind the definition of adulterated products (e.g. foods) was to prevent dangerous substances that could cause adverse health effects or to create negative medical outcomes.” – Cheng, in an Apr. 6 letter to DSHS

The department is accepting public comments on the proposal until Apr. 16.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Richard Y. Cheng as Dykema Cox Smith, which is actually the name of the law firm where Mr. Cheng works.

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