“You probably already know that we’re fans of all things groovy — think: Half Baked and Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies,” Ben & Jerry’s statement reads. “So it’s no surprise that we can’t wait to get into the latest food trend.”
CBD is made with cannabis, but it will not get the user high. However, Ben & Jerry’s has backed legalized weed more generally in the past.
However, the statement notes, the FDA prohibits adding CBD to food and beverages, meaning that a CBD-infused ice cream could put Ben & Jerry’s in dicey legal territory.
” We are committed to bringing CBD-infused ice cream to your freezer as soon as it’s legalized at the federal level,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement on Thursday.
On Friday, the FDA will hold its first public hearing on legalizing CBD in food and beverages. Ben & Jerry’s submitted a comment to support legalization and encouraged others to do the same.
On April 20, Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with marijuana dispensary Caliva to give away free pints of ice cream in California. Caliva donated 4.2% of its 4/20 sales to Code for America’s Clear My Record Program, which focuses on people who have been arrested on charges related to marijuana possession.
Ben & Jerry’s is teasing customers with the promise of CBD-infused ice cream.
As its stands, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits adding CBD to food and beverages, through the ordinance is lightly, if ever, enforced, and the regulatory body has announced a public hearing on the legalization on the issue for 31 May.
The announcement steers Ben & Jerry’s firmly into the hottest trend in food. A recent survey published by the National Restaurant Association found that three in four chefs named CBD – and cannabis-infused food – as a hot trend in 2019.
While clinical studies fail to back up most claims for CBD, the political push to legalize is in part in a reaction to the opiate addiction crisis that swept across the US that has rendered health authorities scrambling for palliative solutions, however far-fetched or untested.
In December, Donald Trump legalized the cultivation of hemp, which had been listed as a Schedule I drug under the controlled substance act, that in turn triggered a wave of investment, including by the pharmacy giants Walgreens and CVS.
Efforts to reschedule CBD as a legal food supplement have been gathering pace as more states have legalized cannabis. Largely derived from hemp, a close relative of the cannabis plant, CBD is ascribed a wide range of health benefits, from improved sleep to reduced anxiety and pain relief.