If you’ve been reading our blog for the last few years, you know that California has taken a pretty absurd position on hemp-derived CBD for the last few years. Though the state led the charge to legalize cannabis (in California, “cannabis” is legally defined as only marijuana and not hemp), the state just can’t get its act together with anything that’s made from hemp. In 2018, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) published an FAQ that said that hemp CBD could not be added to any kind of orally consumable product like foods, beverages, dietary supplements, or animal products, which has been the rule ever since.
You can read an older analysis of mine on the CDPH’s position here. In my opinion, the CDPH’s position was highly suspect – there is no law in the state that actually forbids adding CBD to anything; the CDPH just followed the federal Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) position. While the FAQ did not expressly say so, it appears that the CDPH actually took the position that CBD was an adulterant under the state’s Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law (which is similar to the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act laws that the