Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's, Burlington, Vt., announced a commitment to include cannabidiol (CBD) in its ice cream innovations. The company said it intends to make CBD-infused ice cream available once it’s legalized at the federal level.
Currently, 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 31, and Ben & Jerry's said it submitted comments on the issue.
A National Restaurant Association survey found that three in four chefs named CBD — and cannabis-infused food — as a hot trend in 2019.
"We're doing this for our fans," said CEO Matthew McCarthy. "We've listened and brought them everything from nondairy 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."
Ben & Jerry's said it is looking into sustainably sourced CBD from Vermont. Values-led sourcing is an important part of Ben & Jerry's product development. By using high-quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients, the company helps to support a Linked Prosperity model within its supply chain, making sure it is positively impacting every community in which it is a part.
The company said it currently sources its brownies from Greyston Bakery, which implements an open-door hiring policy, and its cookie dough from Rhino Foods, which hires refugees and sources its dairy from the St. Albans Co-op.
Ben & Jerry's is encouraging its fans to visit benjerry.com to sign up for updated info on Ben & Jerry's commitment and progress toward using CBD. Fans may also contact FDA during the agency’s open comment window regarding CBD use in food through July 2, 2019.