FDA & Cannabis


In Dec. of 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law by Congress.

According to then Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb M.D.:

“Among other things, this new law changes certain federal authorities relating to the production and marketing of hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.), and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low (less than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis) concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These changes include removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which means that it will no longer be an illegal substance under federal law.”

As of July 2019, Congress is still devoting efforts to motivate the FDA to regulate cannabis-based products. The FDA’s inability to efficiently and effectively establish their own guidelines according to science-based research is holding-up the progress of cannabis legislation.

On June 6, 2019 the FDA released a press-release titled: FDA is Committed to Sound, Science-based Policy on CBD.

In summary, the FDA stated:

“The FDA’s approach to cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds has been consistent. We treat substances derived from cannabis just like we do any other substances, and they are subject to the same authorities as any other substance.”

“On the state level, some jurisdictions have eliminated certain prohibitions on cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds. On the federal level, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) removed cannabis and cannabis derivatives that are very low in THC from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). At the same time, that legislation specifically preserved the FDA’s responsibility over such products.”

How the public can help
According to the FDA website, “the FDA’s recent public hearing was held on May 31, 2019. The Agency provided stakeholders a platform to share feedback and experiences and to provide the Agency with scientific data and other information related to cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD. Perspectives were shared from supporters of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, as well as commenters who are concerned about potentially harmful products being widely available.

The Agency benefitted from the myriad of viewpoints expressed and information shared during the recent public hearing, including new scientific data, and we look forward to reviewing written comments submitted to the public docket which is open until July 16, 2019.”

The FDA encourages the public to submit comments to the docket on safety (including whether there is a threshold level that could appropriately be considered safe for foods and dietary supplements), manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.

For more information, visit FDA.gov.

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