(TMU) — Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont-based occasionally political ice cream company, is ready to jump into the CBD game as soon as the non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid is legal in all 50 U.S. states. As of now, an FDA regulation prevents the cannabidiol from being added to both food and beverages.
The company announced on Thursday it’s “commitment to including CBD in its ice cream innovations,” in a press release.
While it may seem like the logical next step for a company manufacturing flavors such as Cherry Garcia, Half Baked and Magic Brownies, the issue is less about expanding on those groovy flavors and more about the fact that activism is “in the DNA of Ben & Jerry’s,” according to 2018 CNBC interview with CEO Matthew McCarthy.
— CNBC (@CNBC) August 17, 2018
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Ben & Jerry’s is poised to jump on the CBD bandwagon as soon as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows. It is currently illegal under the Food Drug & Commerce Act to add CBD or THC to food and to market it as a dietary supplement.
However, some states are independently dealing with the legality of CBD-infused foods and beverages. Earlier this week, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled that cannabis extracts—including infused food and beverages—are legal in the state. But for a manufacturer that produces products sold nationwide, the idea has to wait on the back burner until given a green light by the feds.
This isn’t the first time Ben & Jerry’s has mentioned the possibility of adding the cannabidiol to ice cream. Back in 2015, founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield spoke with HuffPost Live and hinted at the possibility.
“Makes sense to me,” Cohen said at the time. “Combine your pleasures.”
Barring any hiccups in the process, Ben & Jerry’s may not have to wait much longer. A public hearing is set to take place today, May 31st, to discuss the full legalization of CBD, to which Ben & Jerry’s has submitted comment.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the move is part of a larger effort to build “lawful pathways by which appropriate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed.”
Hopefully the FDA will consider Ben & Jerry’s CBD-infused ice cream to be an appropriate product. And when that happens, Ben & Jerry’s will likely source the CBD used from Vermont, according to the Guardian.
McCarthy said in a statement:
“We’re doing this for our fans. We’ve listened and brought them everything from Non-Dairy indulgences to on-the-go portions with our Pint Slices. We aspire to love our fans more than they love us and we want to give them what they’re looking for in a fun, Ben & Jerry’s way.”
A message on the Ben and Jerry’s website reads:
“You probably already know that we’re fans of all things groovy. So it’s no surprise that we can’t wait to get into the latest food trend: cannabidiol, or CBD. We are committed to bringing CBD-infused ice cream to your freezer as soon as it’s legalised at the federal level.”
The company is also urging its fans to contact the FDA to voice their support for modifying the current regulations.
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