Perhaps owing to their Burlington, Vermont, roots and flavors like Cherry Garcia and Phish Food that name-check jam bands, Ben & Jerry’s is already a go-to option for stoners with a sweet tooth (in states where weed is legal, of course). And though Ben & Jerry’s has enjoyed their status as a complementary product to marijuana for quite some time, the company’s latest announcement suggests they want to make their connection to cannabinoids a bit more official.
According to a new press release, Ben & Jerry’s has declared its intentions to make CBD (cannabidiol) a part of its future plans for ice-cream based innovation. As soon as CBD happens to become legal at the federal level, you can expect to see some pints that work in the trendy, non-psychoactive ingredient that’s taken the culinary world by storm.
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As with most things they do, Ben & Jerry’s aims to buy local and ethical when it comes to their CBD. The release says they’re “looking into sustainably-sourced CBD from Vermont,” a state where recreational marijuana is fully legal—as long as you grow it yourself. A bill that would establish a regulatory infrastructure for recreational sales in the Green Mountain State has passed the Vermont Senate, though it doesn’t seem like the House will take up the issue until 2020.
Outside of faux meat, CBD has been arguably the hottest food trend of the past few years. It’s shown up in everything from olive oil to beer to burgers, but currently is of dubious legality. Many regulators have more or less turned a blind eye, though crackdowns in cities like New York have created some confusion.
Thanks to an upcoming FDA hearing about the legality of CBD in food and beverages, however, it may be a time for change. Ben & Jerry’s has submitted a comment in favor of legalizing CBD to the FDA, which will hold a hearing on the subject that begins May 31st. Given that even Mitch McConnell is in favor of legalizing hemp, a leading source for CBD, the FDA could be more likely to rule in favor of legalization than one might assume, given the current political climate.
So, will ice cream fans soon be able to cut out the middleman and enjoy a pint of Half Baked that (kind of) lives up to its name? It’ll depend on what the FDA ultimately decides. If you want to have your say in the matter, the public comment period related to the hearing will be open through July 2, 2019.
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