On May 30th, Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s announced their commitment to making a CBD-infused variety the moment it’s legalized at the federal level. The openly cannabis-loving brand, which already makes flavors called Half Baked and Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies that do not actually contain marijuana, said they submitted a comment for review to last Friday’s FDA’s public hearing on CBD.
CEO Matthew McCarthy told the press that a recent National Restaurant Association survey found CBD was a top food trend for 2019 and Ben & Jerry’s aims to bring their consumers the hottest waves in the food space. He announced in a May 30th press release, “We’ve listened and brought [our customers] everything from Non-Dairy indulgences to on-the-go portions with our Pint Slices. We aspire to love our fans more than they love us and we want to give them what they’re looking for in a Ben & Jerry’s way.”
The sustainability-focused brand hopes to keep its future CBD ice cream as natural as possible, stating, “We want to use sustainably-sourced CBD from our home state of Vermont. After all, values-led sourcing is an important part of our process when we churn up new ice cream innovations. By using high-quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients, we support our linked prosperity model, ensuring that everyone involved with making our flavors — from the cocoa farmers to the Scoop Shop scoopers — is positively impacted.”
CBD is certainly trending despite the fact that it isn’t exactly legal as a food or beverage. New York-based investment bank Cowen & Co. released a study on the already billion-dollar market in February that projected sales would reach $16 billion by 2025. Though federally prohibited, Colorado has enacted its own law which allows all parts of the hemp plant, including the cannabinoid, to be used in food. In other states like Oregon and New York local law enforcement simply looks the other way as CBD is infused into beverages and edibles.
Ben & Jerry’s isn’t the only big-name company bringing CBD to food and beverage. Lagunitas currently sells a CBD-infused beer and Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Lavery expects Coca-Cola will enter the CBD market soon though the beverage giant has not announced any plans themselves.
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