The Oklahoma State Health Department announced on May 31 that it will start inspecting makers and sellers of food containing CBD and medical marijuana, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
Field inspectors will still help businesses to complete the licensing process. But, they will also begin compliance checks for dispensaries and processors under the existing food code, the State Health Department said.
Inspectors will continue educating business owners but will also be taking enforcement action if necessary, Cale said.
Current state statutes define many CBD and medical marijuana-infused products as food. Some examples of products that the State Health Department considers as food under Oklahoma law include:
- Flavored tinctures or oils placed in the mouth or in other food.
- Assorted types of baked goods, candies or chewing gum.
- Infused honey
- Infused bottled water
- Other pre-packaged food products.
“CBD and medical marijuana businesses already in operation have been given ample time to come in compliance with the law,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner Tom Bates. “It is now time to ensure that all businesses are meeting the requirements that will protect public health and provide peace of mind for consumers.”
If medical marijuana businesses are not manufacturing or selling food products, a food license is not required.
Food License Application And Fees
The initial startup cost includes a $425 plan review application fee and a $425 initial food license fee, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale. Afterward, food licenses are renewed annually at $335.
Marijuana businesses required to get the food license must send a retail plan review application to the county where the establishment is located.
State Health Department Position
After legal review and meetings with the Food Safety Standards Advisory Board for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the State Health Department determined early this year that any establishment selling or manufacturing edible marijuana products was subject to certain food laws and regulations, Cale said.
What is CBD and THC?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid constituent of cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.
When the Law on CBD Changed
State law changed on April 30, 2015, to exclude CBD from the definition of marijuana if the CBD contained less than 0.3% THC, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
The State Department of Health requires businesses extracting CBD or processing/warehousing food items containing CBD to comply with certain food laws and inspection regulations, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
How the Health Department Views Food and CBD
“When included in foodstuffs or ingested orally, the State Health Department recognizes CBD as a ‘processed edible substance . . . used or intended for use or for sale . . . for human consumption’,” Cale said, citing a food regulation.
Cale said that common food licenses for these establishments may include:
- Food – Retail License: specific to the sale of pre-packaged food products only
- Food – Combo License: where a licensed establishment may prepare and sell general food to the public for consumption, the medical marijuana food edibles must all be pre-packaged.
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is a Legal Committee member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
His law firm, the Cale Law Office, has a proprietary auditing program that helps Oklahoma’s medical marijuana businesses stay compliant with the state’s laws and regulations.
The content in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. For medical marijuana legal services, contact the Cale Law Office at 918-277-4800, or through the web.