It was inevitable. With the meteoric rise and popularity of CBD, the undeniable benefits it offers and gray areas regarding its legality, the Food and Drug Administration has set its first public hearing on legalizing CBD in food and drinks on May 31st. The goal: Figure out how to regulate the newly legalized cannabis product.
This marks the 1st time the administration will have met publicly on the subject matter of CBD and how to regulate its use in food and drink. Current rules erroneously disallow cannabis from being added at all. The World Health Organization (WHO) published a report in which ZERO adverse effects, including the potential for abusing it were shown for CBD and some medical benefits were said to occur from its use. All indications are that the current rules are behind the times, and the FDA is finally waking up to the fact. But we will see.
The U.S. Hemp Industry, burgeoning as it is and owing it all really to the extreme demand for CBD, has prompted lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pressure the FDA into some sort of action. Congress, after all, legalized CBD recently; as a direct result of this permanent statute, the public expects nothing less than a plethora of cannabis infused products to hit the market. The longer the public must wait, the more of a disservice to them this inconsistent regulation becomes.
Apparently, under such pressure, the FDA has been working towards coming up with some sort of solution independently while leading up to this point. The question becomes, "Where are they at on it, and what's the hold up?!!" Hemp Commerce, nationwide, has been impeded by such a lack of guidance. It isn't as if CBD is some sort of brand new thing no-one's heard of or known about for some time now. Sure, it is relatively new but it is also becoming much more, and very rapidly mainstream, ever since the 1st Hemp Pilot Programs began with the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill (more on this in our FAQ). It is now almost 2020! How much time does an entity the size of the FDA require to accomplish this singular task? Some reports indicate that we are still years away from any sort of meaningful decisions being made on this by the FDA. Hopefully this will not be the case.
This public meeting will occur at FDA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on May 31st.
- Lab Testing of CBD Products for quality and accuracy to ensure consumer safety.
- Can there be high enough levels of CBD or other Cannabinoids to cause any safety concerns?
- CBD and its interaction with other drugs/medications, etc...?
- Marketing questions, including labeling
- Manufacturing questions
Although we're not expecting a whole lot to come from this meeting, perhaps it will get things moving in a positive direction for all those being forced to remain so patient. Clearly there is a growing lobby on the side of CBD and as long as some progress is made it indicates traction being gained, slowly but surely.