As a company that gave away free Half-Baked ice cream to cannabis customers on 4/20, it probably comes as no surprise that Ben & Jerry’s has plans to incorporate cannabidiol (CBD) into future ice cream innovations.
The company said it intends to make its CBD-infused ice cream available once CBD is legalized at the federal level in an announcement on Thursday. The CBD-infused flavor is tentatively titled CBD, TBD.
“We’re doing this for our fans,” said CEO Matthew McCarthy. “We’ve listened and brought them 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 fun, Ben & Jerry’s way.”
Currently, the FDA prohibits adding CBD to food and beverages. The agency has set a public hearing on the legalization of CBD in food and beverages on May 31st, and the ice cream maker, which has submitted comment on the issue, is encouraging fans of its products to contact the FDA during a public consultation period on the use of CBD in food now through July.
The regulator has said it plans to use the public comments to inform a federal working group looking “to explore potential pathways for dietary supplements and/or conventional foods containing CBD to be lawfully marketed”.
The Vermont-based dessert producer is looking into sustainably sourced CBD from Vermont, where the firm has been based since its first store was opened in a renovated gas station in Burlington in 1978.
Industry experts from the international hospitality management company, Benchmark, and market research firm, Food & Drink Resources, also named CBD-infused foods as one of the hottest trends for 2019.
It is estimated that CBD product sales were worth $390m in 2018, a figure that is expected to triple to more than $1.2bn by 2022, according to New Frontier Data, a Denver-based analytics firm that studies the cannabis industry.