CBD Is Still Banned in States With Legal Weed

As more states legalize recreational marijuana use, another part of the cannabis plant has found a market niche. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a molecule that can be derived from hemp or cannabis.  It doesn’t contain THC, so it won’t get you high.

The compound has become a common ingredient in trendy wellness products because of its purported therapeutic benefits.  

“I became really like obsessed with CBD,” says Jonathan Eppers, founder of Vybes beverages. “I always tell people it’s like liquid yoga.”

Eppers, whose company makes CBD drinks that are sold in nearly 250 U.S. grocery stores, coffee shops, and hotels, says that he launched the beverage startup in 2017 after using CBD oils to treat his own anxiety. But the products that he sells are illegal—even in states like California where recreational marijuana is now widely available.

“I didn’t really didn’t think too much about the regulations around CBD because CBD oil was being sold in grocery stores here in LA,” Eppers says.  “But once I got into it we sort of realized we were in a gray area with CBD.”

In January 2019, Eppers said officials from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) showed up to one of his Los Angeles warehouses and confiscated $140,000 worth of Vybes beverages. Eppers says state officials put an embargo on his product and went after a company that helps package his products in Northern California.

“Basically for two months, we haven’t been able to sell Vybes which is costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars,” states Eppers.

California is just one of many states where CBD sales are legally murky. The law clearly allows for the sale of cannabis-derived CBD products, but items that contain the hemp version of the molecule are prohibited.

“The Department of Public Health here is of the view that CBD can’t be put in foods, beverages, animal foods you name it,” says Griffen Thorne, a cannabis lawyer with Harris Bricken. “It is kind of interesting that you have marijuana, which is still federally

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