Cannabis is currently not federally legal in the United States. Instead, certain states have chosen to legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, allowing for a veritable floodgate of businesses to open and begin manufacturing cannabis-infused edibles. Given that cannabis (more specifically, THC—the psychoactive compound in marijuana) is not legal on a nationwide scale, it begs the question: are cannabis edibles FDA regulated?
Cannabis vs CBD regulation
The short answer is, not really. Edibles containing only CBD – a cannabis compound with little to no psychoactive effect – are gaining some attention from the FDA, but beyond that, nationwide regulations for edibles are generally sparse.
Still, this lack of guidance doesn’t change the fact that edibles have exploded in popularity. Because the cannabis industry is growing so rapidly and evolving every day, changes in regulations are likely to transpire quickly in the coming years.
What Are Current Edibles Regulations?
Certain areas of the country have made an attempt to begin regulating edibles on a statewide level. This is a positive step, but these efforts lack widespread standardization. The problem with this is that producers in Colorado may be following entirely different guidelines than those in California, for example. This makes quality control difficult, which hardly inspires consumer confidence.
Nonetheless, a number of recent regulatory advancements have been made regarding cannabis-infused edibles. For instance, many states require that producers label products with an expiration date because early studies suggest potency may decrease over time and the risk for contamination increases when edibles are stored longer.
Additionally, most states require that serving size is clearly communicated on the packaging of every edible. This is in lieu of a “limit,” which would tell consumers not to exceed a certain amount, or barring manufacturers from adding higher levels of THC or CBD. Instead, states ask that producers and retailers advise consumers to “start slow.”
Steps for Manufacturers
While these are great steps, they fail to address issues with testing, quality assurance, and other concerns. To properly align with future FDA regulations, there are a number of important steps that edibles producers can take.
Ensuring that the plant is properly handled and sanitized prior to processing is a huge gap in the industry that needs to be addressed. Understanding how to safely handle and test the cannabis products are two more important components.
These are issues that can be addressed with proper training. It’s a good idea for anyone interested in becoming an edibles manufacturer to develop a rigorous food safety plan so they are prepared to ascribe to FDA regulations when widespread oversight comes into play.
Food Safety Training for Cannabis
The best way to ensure that your cannabis-infused edibles would meet stringent FDA regulations is to invest in high-quality training. ImEPIK is an expert in food safety; we’ve harnessed our expertise and knowledge to create a 100% online, self-paced learning system for cannabis food safety.
When you’re properly trained on the rigors of edibles safety, you will be prepared to abide by regulations when widespread federal guidance is implemented. Purchase your cannabis food safety training today to make sure that you’re meeting the needs of consumers by producing the best, and safest, edibles on the market.