By Penelope Overton
State health authorities have ordered that edible products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, must be removed from stores because the hemp-derived product is not a federally approved food additive.
Environmental health inspectors began informing businesses last week that they must remove all foods, tinctures, and capsules from their shelves that contain the non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has determined CBD is an unapproved food additive that federal authorities do not recognize as safe.
The ruling threatens to derail Maine’s fast-growing hemp industry, in which farmers, extraction labs and retailers are investing millions of dollars, at a time when the CBD market is poised for explosive growth. National industry analysts estimate the U.S. market hit $591 million in 2018 and, with new federal legislation making it distinct from marijuana, its cannabis cousin, it could hit $22 billion by 2022, according to the Brightfield Group.