Coming under increasing pressure to finally implement cannabidiol regulations, the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now says it’s not in position to do so.
After faffing about for years on the issue of regulating CBD in food and supplements, the situated started to come to a head recently when Rep. James Comer, Chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, said he was going to haul the FDA Commissioner before the Committee for questioning over the agency’s lack of action in this and other areas.
But just as it appeared regulations may finally be on the horizon with the help of a shove from Congress, the FDA has thrown a curve ball.
Last Thursday, the agency said it had arrived at a conclusion that a new regulatory pathway for CBD is needed as its existing foods and dietary supplement authorities provide only limited tools for “managing many of the risks associated with CBD products.
“Given the available evidence, it is not apparent how CBD products could meet safety standards for dietary supplements or food additives,” said Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D.
Hemp industry national advocacy organization U.S. Hemp Roundtable was disappointed with the announcement and questioned the FDA’s stance on the safety issue.
“Contrary to FDA’s continued assertions regarding the safety of CBD, there is clear, established evidence of safety over the years,” said U.S. Hemp Roundtable General Counsel Jonathan Miller. “CBD products have been sold at retail for nearly a decade with no significant safety issues.”
Mr. Miller states the FDA’s safety concerns are based on pharmaceutical studies involving high doses of CBD not usually seen in retail products. He said existing tools are sufficient to get the job done and a new regulatory pathway is unprecedented and unnecessary. But something that both parties can agree on is their respective willingness to work with Congress.
“We also remain willing to work with the FDA to ensure that hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD are safe and adequately regulated,” said Mr. Miller.
While this can is continually kicked down the road, the industry remains in limbo and U.S. consumers are at a disadvantage through ongoing exposure to what is a widely unregulated market.