Post date: 9/4/2019

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has updated its rules about CBD and hemp-derived food, asserting that food ingredients and supplements that contain CBD or hemp are illegal. The ruling comes as many await federal regulations in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the federal list of controlled substances.

The 2018 Farm Bill removed one type of cannabis – hemp – from the list of prohibited substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and reclassified hemp as a commodity. But the new law doesn’t allow for widespread cultivation of hemp, as it calls for tight system of regulation, overseen by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The FDA currently is drafting regulations for hemp-derived drugs and food additives, like CBD.

Last week Scott Gottlieb, who until April headed up the FDA, threw cold water on the matter, however, asserting that CBD food products, now widely available in the market, are illegal under federal law. “You can’t just put it in the food supply,” Gottlieb told CNBC. “Right now, all the CBD is illegal that’s being put into food or dietary supplements.”

Food manufacturers and CBD producers are in talks with WSDA about its rules revisions. After the Farm Bill was signed into law last year, growers and the manufacturers were relieved. However, this may have other impacts on the growers and food manufacturers.

The WSDA ruling did offer some hope for hemp producers and users. It said some hemp products are accepted as “Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).” This includes hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp seed protein powder. These all are allowed in food products.

With every development in CBD and cannabis regulations, scrutiny and tightness appear to be increasing for cannabis growers and manufacturers in many parts of the country.

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