Current happenings in the CBD and hemp space

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There are a lot of folks attempting to get involved with hemp and CBD. They are intrigued by all the news and media coverage, with stories popping up everywhere.

If you're a business owner thinking about adding CBD to one of your tasty products, you might want to think again.

The 2018 Farm Bill is very clear about what is permitted to contain CBD. And the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is very clear about food, cosmetics, drugs and other products that contain CBD.

In the recent past, warning letters have been issued to several business here in the Lowcountry for violations of the rules.

In a Nov. 27, 2019, article on WashingtonPost.com, food business writer Laura Reiley gives great examples of why the big manufacturers are not completely into the CBD space yet:

"This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling products containing CBD, saying they had violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. At the same time, the FDA published a revised Consumer Update detailing broad safety concerns about CBD products.

"Bottom line: The federal government has not concluded that CBD is 'generally recognized as safe' (GRAS) for use in human or animal food. Thus, CBD in food and drink is still illegal.

" 'It came out of the blue. We were just at a CBD show last week, and there were hundreds of similar products and websites,' said Brad Ridenour, chief executive of Koi CBD, one of the 15 companies to receive warning letters.

"Companies that have been full-speed-ahead on developing and marketing CBD-infused food and drink say they have been waiting for direction from the FDA on how to label and market products and are increasingly frustrated with the agency's lack of clear regulations.

"Brands like Ben & Jerry's, Unilever and Anheuser-Busch have announced CBD products in development, and stores such as Walgreens, Kroger and CVS have vowed to sell them."

So, business owners considering adding CBD to their coffee, ice cream or beer might do well to do some more research. If Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's and Anheiser-Busch aren't selling CBD-enhanced products, it's because the practice is still illegal.

Let's also consider Amazon, where many people shop for convenience and low prices. It seems most people are unaware that CBD is on Amazon's "prohibited products" list.

So, what does that mean for the bottle of CBD that you bought? Quite possibly, it is hempseed oil. Hempseed oil is full of omega fatty acids, flavonoids and other positive health benefits. However, hempseed oil contains no CBD.

It's important when you purchase any CBD product to look for a certificate of analysis (COA). The certificate is provided by a third-party independent lab. You also want to see that the company has contact information, a website and a phone number so consumers can ask questions.

Cynthia Groff, CCMA is the owner of Sativa Health Products on Hilton Head Island. SativaHealthProducts.com

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