New signs from FDA head show hope for CBD industry nationwide

New signs from FDA head show hope for CBD industry nationwide

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Earlier this week, CBD retailers, growers and producers got news that may ease some concerns caused by recent enforcement crackdowns in some states and localities.

On Tuesday, Marijuana Moment reported that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a speech to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture that the agency would seek “broad public input” in its approach to regulating cannabidiol products. [1]

CBD products have been subjected to regulatory enforcements in Ohio, Maine and New York City, and calls have been made from across the industry for a clearer set of rules from the federal regulating agents.

Gottlieb published a comment immediately after the Farm Bill of 2018 defending the rights of the FDA to maintain oversight over the substances, despite the bill’s purported legalization of hemp and hemp products.

Part of Gottlieb’s speech is in response to a letter signed by 12 members of U.S. congress, including Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota. [2]

According to Marijuana Moment, Gottlieb differentiated between CBD and other products from Hemp, like hemp seed oil and proteins. This, Gottlieb said, is because negative health effects of CBD may exist.

This is controversial among those who buy and sell CBD and CBD products, but nearly everyone in the CBD industry supports further research into the health effects of the supplement. Still, preliminary studies support a number of health benefits for CBD users, including certain forms of epilepsy, pain relief and anxiety. [3]

Anticonvulsant drug Epidiolex is the first and only FDA-approved CBD prescription, and Gottlieb suggested more companies should follow in its steps to protect their products in the marketplace, at least from the feds.

Still, companies and consumers are striving for clarity and efficiency in the potential regulation of the products. Each week clearer answers don’t come, the stores in those municipalities and states affected by the local bans will lose revenues and customers are denied the CBD supplements they’ve come to rely on.

Recent reports suggest as many as 7 percent of Americans already use CBD, and projections have placed the potential overall market value of the industry at $16 billion in the U.S. by 2025. [4]

In the time until more clarification comes from Gottlieb and other federal regulators, businesses are taking legal actions to fight back.

Forbes recently reported a profile of Chelsie Spencer, an intellectual property attorney who specializes in defending the claims of CBD stores and retailers against the government in Florida and Texas, two other states where localized actions have restricted CBD. [5]

While Spencer moves to protect brands that are popping up across the U.S. in the booming CBD market, she also advocates for reforms and regulatory clarity for the companies and consumers.

In this particular instance and time, it is more important than ever for retailers, producers and consumers alike to stand up for their rights to the products they love.