Hershey’s chocolate CEO and company evaluating the possibility of entering CBD market

Published Aug 18, 2019 11:16 a.m. ET
iStock / Cheri Alguire

Since the legalization of cannabis in many countries, there has been an economic boom in the cannabis industry.  CBD products are becoming an attractive option on the market. CBD products are penetrating the food and beauty industries. Many entrepreneurs have opted to infuse CBD into their products. Hershey’s may be a prospective company that is weighing the pros and cons of having cannabis as part of their line of product.

Hershey’s delays venture into CBD market

Hershey, a chocolate company, is hesitant to enter the CBD market. Although people are craving CBD infused sweets, there are no plans now to include CBD in their line of products. CBD chocolate will not be on the agenda anytime soon.

Advocates of CBD attest to the health benefits of the non-psychoactive compound, CBD. Although, the studies on the health benefits of CBD are inconclusive.

FDA policies on CBD in Food and Beverages

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prevents the infusion of CBD into food and beverages even though CBD itself is now legal from the introduction of the Farm Bill Act. This Act legalizes hemp, which has a higher concentration of CBD and low concentration of THC.

Why is CBD not allowed to be infused in food products, considering that it will not get a person high? The FDA is still not entirely convinced that CBD is entirely safe to use in food items. As a result, more tests will be needed to determine the safety of CBD in food products. After all, consumers’ safety is the main mandate of the FDA.

On the other hand, there are still significant changes coming to their policy. The FDArecently held a public hearing on CBD food and beverages and how regulations can take place.

Michelle Buck, the CEO of Hershey’s, said the regulations from FDA is a matter of concern since it is illegal to transport food product with CBD. Possibly, Hershey’sperspective will change as soon as the FDA change its policies towards the infusion of CBD into food.

Other Companies with CBD infused products

Other companies in the food industry have also made their concerns known regarding the rise of CBD products on the market. The CEO of Mondelez is also considering adding CBD to its products when the legalization of the compound in food and beverages is official. These traditional food companies are aware of the profitability of CBD, but they are still concerned about its legality.

Newer businesses are more willing to take the risk and enter the market than traditional businesses. That is because these new, small upcoming businesses do not have much to lose like a company that has been around for years. Jelly Belly founder, David Klein has a company that commercialized CBD infused jellybean.

Likely, the reason these traditional businesses are reluctant to incorporate CBD into their products is because they are trying to protect their reputation. A big company like Hershey may run into issues with the relevant authorities if they do not obey the FDA regulations.

Canada to allow the sale of cannabis edibles late this year

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