CBD Infused Food Products Ruled Illegal in Washington State

Alex Collins
2 min readAug 16, 2019


Washington state Ag Department officials recently clarified that hemp-derived CBD is not allowed as a food additive.

In a rules update posted this month to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) website, state officials have clarified that hemp-derived CBD is not allowed as a food ingredient or additive. The clarification comes as hemp entrepreneurs and enthusiasts anxiously await federal CBD regulations from the FDA — expected sometime in the coming weeks or months — in the wake of the plant’s recent federal legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Despite hemp’s legal status, its myriad uses face more scrutiny as federal CBD rules and regulations are developed.

“To be clear,” the update reads in bold print, “CBD is not currently allowed as a food ingredient, under federal and state law.”

“The FDA has approved a drug comprised of CBD [Epidiolex] as a prescription drug for treatment of specific health conditions, but has not approved CBD as an ingredient in food. Federal laws clearly prohibit adding drugs to food, except in limited circumstances defined in the law.” — WSDA rules update

Last week, former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said the hemp CBD food products that are currently available in stores are federally illegal.

“You can’t just put it in the food supply,” Gottlieb, who resigned in April, told CNBC. “Right now, all the CBD is illegal that’s being put into food or dietary supplements.”

WSDA says it has reached out to hemp industry and manufactured-food industry participants to clear up any confusion.

The WSDA update mentions that the parts of the hemp plant that have been federally classified as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) — including hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein powder, and hemp seed oil — are allowed in food products.

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