The ice cream mega-producer, Ben and Jerry’s, intends to release a CBD ice cream brand as soon as possible. With last year’s passage of the Hemp Farming Bill, CBD became legal in all 50 states. However, the addition of CBD to food and drinks remains prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For those that are new to cannabis, CBD is the major non-psychoactive component of hemp, meaning that it doesn’t get you high, no matter how much you consume. You can blame that effect on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, responsible for the mind-altering feeling associated with smoking cannabis.
A recent post put out by the popular ice-cream company reads, “Trend alert! CBD-infused ice cream is (maybe, hopefully) coming to a freezer near you! Find out more at the link in our bio.”
With public support for cannabis legalization continuing to grow, the time for change is at hand. In fact, the FDA held a public hearing on May 31st, and in response, Ben and Jerry’s said in a statement, “We are open to bringing CBD-infused ice cream to your freezer as soon as it’s legalized at the federal level. Currently, the FDA prohibits adding CBD to food and beverages. But change is on the horizon: they’ve set a public hearing on the legalization of CBD-infused foods and beverages for May 31st, and we’ve submitted a comment to them in support of legalization.” CBD-containing food and beverages are, nonetheless, already available in many stores.
Ben and Jerry’s has never been one to shy away from a controversial topic, and medical marijuana is no different. Active on many social justice fronts, more recently, Ben and Jerry’s has focused its altruistic efforts towards criminal justice reform, and specifically, the end of cannabis prohibition.
Principal deputy commissioner and acting CIO for the FDA, Dr. Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, had this to say on the subject: “Today I wanted to pick back up on the cannabidiol (CBD) theme. It remains top of mind. You may have noticed that many products containing CBD are being introduced widely and are sold in many different forms, such as oil drops, capsules, lotions and tea. Other than one prescription drug product to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy, the FDA has not approved any other CBD containing products. We want consumers to be aware that there is only limited information about CBD, including about its effects on the body.”
According to Ben and Jerry’s CEO, Matthew McCarthy, “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 Ben and Jerry’s way.”
This year, that means CBD; after all, CBD is looking to be one of 2019’s hottest top trends.
Earlier this year, Ben and Jerry’s expressed public support for expunging criminal records for those charged with low-level marijuana related crimes in a statement on their website, saying, “Legalization without justice is half baked.”