FDA Says No To CBD Marketing As Food Or Dietary Supplement, Expert Warns Decision Could Effect Cannabis Legislation

In view of the growing CBD products market, the Food and Drug Administration convened a high-level internal working group to explore potential regulatory pathways for CBD products. In it, the FDA concluded that it would not regulate CBD as a food and dietary supplement ingredient.

“Today we are announcing that after careful review, the FDA has concluded that a new regulatory pathway for CBD is needed that balances individuals’ desire for access to CBD products with the regulatory oversight needed to manage risks,” per an FDA press release from deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock who added that the FDA will work with Congress to create "safeguards and oversight to manage and minimize risks related to CBD products." 

Woodcock reiterated controversial warnings that CBD poses risks to animals and that people could therefore be unknowingly exposed to it. She confirmed that the FDA will essentially maintain its current policy regarding CBD which includes taking action against CBD and other cannabis-derived products.

Does The FDA Weild Power Over The Future Of Cannabis?

The announcement did not sit well with experts who contend the FDA is disregarding science and data. They also call into question the FDA's ability to take action against 'other cannabis-derived products.'

"After 5 years of assessing the regulation of CBD under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act regulatory regime, the FDA’s long-awaited conclusion is that it’s going to take a pass on regulating CBD as a food and dietary supplement ingredient," Shawn Hauser, partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP told Benzinga. "Commissioner Woodcock makes clear that the FDA does not believe the data it has assessed supports its authority to make necessary rule changes under the FDCA that would allow CBD to be regulated under the food and dietary supplement pathway and will not be exercising such authority."

The implication is that the FDA essentially governs CBD and other hemp derivatives by maintaining its current approach ostensibly to protect public safety.   

"Such a framework for CBD can be expected to apply to other hemp-derived cannabinoids. It may also inform broader cannabis regulation, especially considering the continued innovation and market demand for novel cannabinoids," Hauser said.

"This announcement is timely as we can expect to see important federal cannabis legislation and discussions this Congress governing hemp and cannabis more broadly, from the 2023 Farm Bill, cannabis legalization legislation, and the review of the scheduling of cannabis as directed by President Biden."


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Posted In: CannabisNewsFDAMarketsCBDJanet WoodcockShawn HauserVicente Sederberg LLP
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