Washington State Bans All CBD-Infused Food and Drinks
“Federal laws clearly prohibit adding drugs to food, except in limited circumstances defined in the law," wrote the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Published on August 20, 2019

If you’re looking to buy CBD in the Emerald State, odds are you’re better off skipping the coffee shops and health food stores in favor of a licensed adult-use cannabis dispensary. And if you are able to find a CBD latte, your barista is technically breaking the law. 

According to a new release from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and first reported by Sapling, Washington State has officially banned the commercial sale of CBD-infused food and beverages. 

“Recent federal and state legislative changes regarding hemp have generated many questions about cannabinoid extracts, like CBD, and whether or not they may be used as ingredients in food products,” the Washington Department of Agriculture website reads. “To be clear, CBD is not currently allowed as a food ingredient, under federal and state law.”

Since hemp-derived cannabidiol was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill less than one year ago, the American CBD industry has expanded exponentially. It is now estimated to be worth upwards of $2.6 billion in the next three years. But while growing and transporting hemp and its derivatives is now legal under federal law, without oversight from federal authorities, mixing those extracts into food, drinks, and supplements is still technically illegal. 

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“The FDA has approved a drug comprised of CBD as a prescription drug for treatment of specific health conditions, but has not approved CBD as an ingredient in food,” Washington Department of Agriculture officials wrote. “Federal laws clearly prohibit adding drugs to food, except in limited circumstances defined in the law.”

Earlier this month, former FDA honcho Scott Gotlieb took to CNBC’s morning show to espouse a similar warning, telling viewers that no matter what state you live in, those fancy CBD ice cream sundaes and gas station cannabidiol gummy bears are all still illegal in the eyes of the feds.

In their new policy update, Washington agriculture authorities noted that if the FDA does finalize CBD regulations for food, the state can start selling infused lattes and the like — so long as it follows the federal agency’s chosen rules. 

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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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