Nevada Chocolatier Ordered to Quarantine 3,000 Pounds of CBD-Infused Candy
As the FDA debates the best path forward for national CBD regulations in food and beverages, one local government is putting cannabidiol companies between a rock and a hard place.
Published on July 17, 2019

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No matter where you go these days, CBD is everywhere. From the gym and the spa, to the coffee shop and cocktail lounge, you can’t walk two city blocks without seeing cannabidiol infusions screaming from sandwich boards and storefront windows. So when health officials in Washoe County, Nevada ordered Dorinda Vance to remove 3,000 pounds of CBD-infused chocolate from the market and destroy it immediately, the chocolatier was understandably upset.

With hemp-derived CBD products legalized nationwide by the 2018 Farm Bill, sales of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid have skyrocketed. But without standardized regulations from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), some local governments are taking hardline stands against unregulated CBD products. In Washoe County, officials have issued a number of cease and desist letters to businesses selling CBD foods and beverages, with Vance’s LiveKaya chocolates facing a near-total business interruption.

"I have a lot of customers that have cancer, and they don’t want tinctures, they want the chocolates,” Vance told the Reno Gazette Journal. “They taste good!" 

Vance said that the chocolates she was instructed to destroy have a wholesale value of $60,000 and would eventually be sold at retail for as much as $275,000. 

With such a massive investment sunk into even her current batch of CBD-infused candies, Vance pushed back against the county, filing an appeal to the health officials’ ruling. During the process, the Washoe County Food Protection Hearing and Advisory Board agreed that the destruction order was a bit harsh, but still ordered Vance to quarantine her CBD chocolates until the FDA establishes concrete cannabidiol regulations.

“Rules are not meant to be broken," board member Chris Thompson said. "As a small business owner, I would go under if I had to eat $60,000. If you can hold on... times are a-changing and we just kind of have to sit on our hands." 

And while the FDA has recently started the long and arduous process of cementing the nation’s first-ever federal CBD regulations, the agency has not released any semblance of a timeline, and has not given any indication how strict or lenient the final rules may be. Suffice to say, Vance and her peers could be sitting on their hands for quite some time.

Currently, Vance is storing her 1.5 tons of CBD chocolates in a commercial freezer, with plans to move them to an industrial storage freezer in Reno once the quarantine is given final approval from County Officials. 

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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