Overall, it seems that the state’s Department of Public Health is trying to make the hemp industry’s life more difficult.
While California led the charge to legalize marijuana, more precisely defined as “cannabis” under state law — I know, it’s confusing — the state has also repeatedly failed to forge a legal path for hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD).
Following the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released an FAQ entitled, “FAQ – Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) in Food Products” (emphasis added by the CDPH), which provided that hemp, including CBD, could not be added to any kind of ingestible product like foods, beverages, dietary supplements, or animal products. Interestingly enough, there wasn’t, and still isn’t, any state law that actually prohibits adding hemp or CBD to finished products intended for human consumption. Instead, the CDPH adopted the federal FDA position.
Although the FAQ did not expressly say so, it was clear from its reading that the CDPH treated hemp-derived ingestible products adulterated under the state’s Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law (the Sherman Law), the state equivalent of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). In fact, local agencies, like the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, later issued their own statements, which expressly categorized these products as adulterated, ostensibly confirming the CDPH’s unexpressed position.
Published: June 02, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News