CBD-infused water coming to Colorado grocery stores, pending FDA approval

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DENVER — CBD products are rapidly becoming more widely available. One can now find CBD-infused ointments and creams in places like Walgreens.

However, it’s no loner just the drug store. CBD-infused water is now coming to some major grocery stores.

A company named Phivida is launching its line of beverages called Oki in Safeway Stores. Oki beverages would become the first CBD-infused beverages sold by the store.

Phivida says its drinks will be sold in more than 100 stores across Colorado. However, Safeway says that is all pending FDA approval.

“It always takes one to dip their toes in the water and gauge how hot or cold it is. And if it’s warm enough and comfortable enough, others will start following,” explained Garrett Graff.

Graff is an attorney at Hoban Law Group, which represents Phivida and more than 200 other cannabis and hemp companies.

He was recently in Washington pleading for interim guidance from the FDA so companies like Phivida can go mainstream.

“I think in many respects, we’re fighting perception, not laws at this point,” said Graff.

The 2018 farm bill legalized hemp nationwide, and most CBD comes from hemp. Colorado has also legalized CBD. The problem: CBD in food and beverages is still illegal under federal law.

“It’s entirely frustrating,” said Graff.

CBD can’t get you high, no matter how it’s consumed. However, the FDA has been reluctant to take a stance on CBD because it can be derived from both hemp and cannabis, and if CBD has more than 0.3 percent THC, then it is considered a marijuana plant.

“For these regulators, they have a huge headache trying to distinguish… Did this product come from hemp or marijuana? How do we ensure proof of the supply chain? How do we prove this product has what it says it has in it? Those are the questions they’re facing,” said Graff.

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