FDA to hold hearing on cannabis products

The FDA is holding a hearing on May 31st, where it hopes to “obtain scientific data and information about the safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds,” including hemp-derived CBD. Requests to make an oral presentation must be received by May 10th. Comments are accepted until June 2nd. Read more about the hearing, and how to submit comments here.

Presumably sometime after the hearing the FDA will promulgate and publish some decision on whether hemp flower extract rich in CBD and other cannabinoids can be used in food and topical products. One possibility is that the FDA will set a CBD potency limit above which a product would be considered a drug requiring special approval by the FDA as such, whereas products under the limit could be sold in regular stores as dietary supplements. This is complicated by the FDA’s claim that CBD cannot be sold as a dietary supplement, because it is an active ingredient in an approved drug (Epidiolex). Still, the FDA understands that with the rising popularity of cannabinoid products, keeping them in the black market is ultimately not going to be in the best interest of the health and safety of the American people. This is why the department, according to a statement by FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, is interested in finding “potential regulatory pathways” that would allow these products to remain available in some form to the broader public.

Kris Plunkett