As the legalization of marijuana continues to be a hot topic, businesses in various industries are exploring opportunities to include cannabis in their products once it is fully legalized.
Last year, several media outlets reported that Coca-Cola was in talked with Canadian firm Aurora Cannabis Inc. to develop CBD-infused drinks. Prior to this revelation about the beverage giant, Heineken launched a non-alcoholic drink containing marijuana under its Lagunitas brand.
Now, another popular company has jumped on the bandwagon: Ben & Jerry's.
The ice cream experts recently announced that they want to bring pints of CBD-infused ice cream to stores. CBD flower is a cannabis bud that helps people relax without feeling out-of-their-mind high.
"We’re doing this for our fans,” said CEO Matthew McCarthy in a statement posted on the Ben & Jerry's website. “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 Ben & Jerry’s way.”
While Ben & Jerry's potential new flavor will most likely be well-received by their fans, there's a reason why it has not been released yet. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the addition of CBD, also known as cannabidiol, to food and beverages.
The good news that the FDA held a public hearing on the legalization of CBD in food and drink products on May 31, and Ben & Jerry's "submitted a comment to them in support of legalization."
At the hearing, FDA officials heard statements from the public, business and researchers about the health and economic benefits of CBD and products infused with the non-psychoactive ingredient.
If you're in interested in sharing your opinion on the issue, the FDA is accepting online comments until July 2.
Although the legalization of CBD is important, Ben & Jerry's highlighted on their website that their novel ice cream will be made with sustainably-sourced ingredients. The CBD will be sourced from Vermont, the birthplace of the well-loved ice cream.
"By using high-quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients, we support our linked prosperity model, ensuring that everyone involved with making our flavors — from the cocoa farmers to the Scoop Shop scoopers — is positively impacted," the statement continued. "We source our brownies from Greyston Bakery, which has an innovative open-door hiring policy, and our cookie dough comes from Rhino Foods, which employs refugees and sources its dairy locally from the St. Albans Co-op."
Since there is still a bit of a wait before Ben & Jerry's CBD ice cream is available for sale, you can make the wait easier by trying out some of their new flavors.
Ben & Jerry's recently introduced various non-dairy flavors, pint slices and truffle pints. If you're wondering what the pint slices are like, just imagine your favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor as an ice cream sandwich.
As for the non-dairy options, new flavors include chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate caramel cluster and chocolate salted 'n swirled.