The ban issued by Washington State on the use of CBD as an ingredient in food and beverages meant for human or animal consumption took effect on August 1 and it has brought a cloud of uncertainty within the industry in the state.
The state cites the directive of the FDA that until regulations are made regarding the use of CBD as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and supplements, then the compound remains illegal since it hasn’t been approved as an additive.
If what has happened in other jurisdictions, such as California and New York State, is anything to go by, it will be hard for the authorities in Washington State to enforce this ban.
Washington State Department of Health officials have already indicated that their enforcement actions will initially be geared at educating the business community about the ban and giving them a chance to voluntarily comply with state law.
If the state realizes that businesses are continuing to stock up on CBD edibles despite the ban, then more aggressive measures will be taken.
As has happened elsewhere, different counties may select their own approach to implement the ban, and this could mean that some areas will see aggressive steps taken to pull the products off store shelves while other counties could provide a timeline within which the banned products should be cleared from the shelves. Some may even opt to pay lip service to the ban. This lack of uniformity in the way the law is enforced is likely to send mixed signals to the business community, and such a climate isn’t good for all concerned.
What makes Washington’s ban even more interesting is the fact that the 2012 law which legalized recreational marijuana also legalized THC and CBD edibles. This means that even if the readily available products are taken off the shelves of retail outlets, the same products will still be available to adults who visit licensed marijuana dispensaries.
Do you see the irony here? Washington State is citing federal guidance by the FDA banning a substance that was made legal by the 2018 Farm Bill to issue its own ban, except that the banned products will still be available to adults who participate in consuming a federally controlled substance (marijuana)!
Needless to say, industry watchers believe that the eyes of CBD industry actors like Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW) and Youngevity International Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI) are on the FDA to see what CBD rules the agency will release next month or thereabouts.
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