Hemp-Derived Edibles Become Legal in Maine

New legislation overrules initial order that retailers must remove CBD products from shelves
Photograph: Shutterstock

AUGUSTA, Maine — In a change of course, Maine officials will allow the production and sale of food additives and edible products that contain hemp, according to new legislation signed March 27.

This decision reverses Maine’s initial ruling on hemp. In February, Maine health authorities ordered retailers to remove edible products containing cannabidiol (CBD) from shelves because the substance had been declared unsafe by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The new legislation aligns with the 2018 Farm Bill, saying that if hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, it may be marketed, distributed and sold in stores. Maine’s ruling also forbids CBD and hemp manufacturers from making any therapeutic or health claims for its products.

“This bill will allow for the safe and legal commercial sale and use of CBD products and support the continued growth of the legal hemp industry here in Maine in the years to come,” said Maine Gov. Janet Mills.

“People have millions of dollars invested in this industry and are worried about losing their livelihoods,” said Craig Hickman, a member of Maine’s House of Representatives. “People need access to the foods of their choosing for their own well-being. I am grateful the governor knows the urgency of the situation and has taken swift action to get this bill signed.”

While Maine has approved CBD, federal regulations remain hazy. Scott Gottlieb’s departure from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reinforces the uncertainty retailers have surrounding the hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) market. The FDA has yet to release a list of structured guidelines and regulations surrounding CBD products, and until that happens, many retailers will remain on the sidelines.

Edible-CBD manufacturers include Platinum X CBD, which showcased its CBD Lollipops at the 7-Eleven FOAC Holiday Trade Show in November 2018; Diamond CBD, which makes CBD gummies, cake pops and chocolate; and Cannabinoid Creations, whose CBD candy line includes Hemp Hard Candy.

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