By Laura Reiley
In flavors like “cucumber mint refresh” and “watermelon renew,” a new line of CBD-infused waters and teas is hitting major grocery stores in California and Colorado on Monday, each 16-ounce bottle containing 20 milligrams, or trace amounts, of “active hemp extract.”
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, but the legal status of hemp-derived cannabidiol remains in limbo. This is largely because CBD can be derived from hemp or cannabis, but if a hemp plant contains more than 0.3 percent THC (the active “high” ingredient in marijuana) it is then technically a “marijuana” plant. It’s confusing. Experts say drafting and implementing regulations could take years.
Amy Abernethy, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner, has taken the lead on clarifying the agency’s position on regulation of CBD-infused products, using Twitter as a primary mechanism for conveying the agency’s thought process.
On June 16, the FDA released a document called “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out)” that states: “We are aware that there may be some products on the market that add CBD to a food or label CBD as a dietary supplement. Under federal law, it is currently illegal to market CBD this way.”
When asked which instances of CBD sale might prompt legal action, the FDA said it had no additional comments but that the agency had opened a docket for the public to submit comments through July 2. There are 2,554 comments thus far, and that date has been extended to July 16.