The cannabis industry had a huge year in 2018. So much legislation passed that made this alternative medicine to so many more people. Just last year alone, we saw the following developments:
However, even though it is still early in the year, a few states have gone backward on all this forward movement. While CBD itself is legal on the federal level for medicinal use, there are some caveats. It has not yet been cleared by the FDA as a safe food additive. This has led to some states cracking down on the sale of edible forms of CBD.
Where Are CBD Edibles Banned?
I have written about each of these in other posts on this site, but so far this year we have seen a raid on stores selling CBD edibles in New York, Ohio, and Maine. To see my previous writings about each of these cases, you can find them linked below:
Why Is This Happening?
This is curious news, as these crackdowns are occurring in states (like Maine) where the sale of recreational marijuana is legal. You would think with the passage of the Hemp Act in the 2018 Farm Bill, that it would be a green light for CBD nationwide. However, that movement has hit a bit of a snag. This issue is that while CBD is legal, it still resides in a gray area when it comes to using it in food products (in the eyes of the FDA).
In New York, in January they began to raid CBD sellers (particularly bars and restaurants that served CBD-infused food and drink), seized their products, and threatened fines for future violations. Maine saw similar seizures at health and wellness stores that sold CBD products for medicinal purposes, and Ohio witnessed the same.
The other issue, beyond its regulation as a safe food additive, is that there is a lack of guidelines. Particularly in bars and restaurants, there is no label that tells the customer how much cannabidiol they are consuming in food and beverages. In the future, there will need to be better labeling which includes dosage info so the consumer knows what they are getting if products like this are going to thrive going forward.
This does not mean that CBD, in general, is not OK in these states. The issue lies primarily with edible forms of it. You can still buy cannabidiol products in other forms. Edibles include gummies, capsules, softgels, oil tinctures, and other forms that you consume. You can still use vape products, topical products, bath bombs, and other forms of CBD.
Why only some states are enforcing this, and not all, I do not have an answer. I will be doing some research to see if I can find out. If any of you readers have some insights, please share in the comments below!