Cannabidiol (CBD) extract from hemp is now legal to use as a food ingredient in Virginia, after a legalization bill was signed by Gov. Ralph Northam.
The measure declares that “industrial hemp extract...is a food and is subject to applicable laws and regulations,” to be administered by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These will include labeling requirements and methods of testing batches and identifying contaminants.
The law presumably will apply only to products meant to be produced and consumed within Virginia. Use of CBD in foods and beverages is still prohibited in virtually all interstate commerce, because the FDA has so far refused to recognize CBD as a safe food ingredient.
Another potential problem is that federal law prohibits hemp plants used to make CBD from containing more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component of cannabis plants that induces intoxication. CBD is said to promote relaxation and have other benefits, but does not induce a high.
A Virginia farmer told AP News that keeping hemp plants under 0.3% THC is hard if not impossible. She said a more realistic ceiling would be 1%, which would still be undetectable by users.