COLUMBUS, Ohio — While you’re getting a new look at one local salon, you can also try a new beverage created by a local entrepreneur.
Survey data shows that legal cannabis businesses are overwhelmingly white male-owned, and several reports from legal markets show factors such as convictions which prohibit licensure or lack of capital for startup costs disproportionally keep Black and Latino people, who she calls the “O.G. entrepreneurs”, out of the market.
“There are products with THC and other unsafe substances like heavy medals and pesticides,” says Robinson, who uses third-party verification to test and verify her products. She says the dedication to transparency and taste makes her product stand out. Each batch is tested and the results posted online.
“A number of people have been using it for years, and you can find it on retail shelves all over the place, but now people are surprised to find it’s against the law,” said Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, a Napa-area Democrat who introduced the measure. “What this bill will do is clear up the confusion.”
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Congress last week that enforcement is being limited to sellers who make false health claims. He says the agency recently sent warning letters to three companies touting CBD as a treatment for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia and drug addiction.
CBD oil-infused gummy bears, lattes and other food, drinks and dietary supplements are selling quickly even though the U.S. government says they’re illegal and local authorities have forced some retailers to pull products. The confusion has the nation’s two largest states, along with Ohio, moving to legalize the cannabis compound that many see as beneficial to their health.
In California, a similar CBD measure has moved on to the full Assembly.
CBD oil is extracted when the plant is processed. While hemp derivatives are essentially THC-free, CBD oil from marijuana may have very little or enough to produce a high.
State and local officials are taking nearly all the enforcement actions against CBD. Health officials in California, which has the nation’s largest legal marijuana marketplace, warned retailers last summer that anything edible containing CBD is illegal until lawmakers or regulators say otherwise.
San Francisco health officials recently barred two small operators from selling CBD-infused food and drink, while authorities in rural Grass Valley, 140 miles away, did the same to a small, cooperatively owned grocery store.
“But there are products on the market right now that, given our enforcement priorities and our limited resources, we haven’t taken action against,” he said.
The FDA has oversight of CBD because it is the active ingredient in an approved prescription drug to treat two rare seizure disorders. The agency says CBD can’t be added to food or sold as a dietary supplement because officials haven’t determined if it’s safe or effective for other conditions.