PREVIEW: Friday will bring big moves at the FDA. Here’s what you need to know

PREVIEW: Friday will bring big moves at the FDA. Here’s what you need to know

The Food and Drug Administration will meet tomorrow for its first public hearing on CBD regulations, a huge step forward in what has been a dramatic year for everyone in the hemp industry, overall.

Before he left his post as commissioner of the FDA earlier this year, Scott Gottlieb said in a public statement that legislators in Congress should be the ones fixing the way CBD, a non-psychoactive derivative of hemp, should be regulated on the open market. In the meantime, it could take years for the FDA to work its way through the process on its own, he said. [4]

The hearing Friday will feature the testimony of 140 people on how CBD impacted their lives, how the FDA has hampered their businesses, and what steps should be taken next for the best effects. Still, the benefits of the meeting will surely be preliminary.

“I think a lot of people are holding out what I consider somewhat false hope that we’ll come out of this hearing with all the answers to our burning questions,” Jonathan Havens, co-chair of the cannabis law practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, told CNBC in an article published Thursday. [1]

Before he left the FDA, Scott Gottlieb both formed a working group at the government body to start the process of defining CBD regulation and firmly state that in the interim the FDA would not permit the addition of CBD into food and drink products, despite a booming market for hemp cocktails, recipes and other sales items.

The confusion from the FDA doesn’t stand alone, however. The Farm Bill of 2018 did wonders for the hemp and CBD industries by legalizing hemp as an agricultural product, but was quickly followed by an influx of reports from state and national legislators calling for more clarity over how CBD manufacturers, retailers and customers should react.

State health inspectors sprang into action, some state legislatures adopted draconian rules like the amendment for strict labelling of CBD that could have disastrous effects in the Minnesota State Legislature.

Other states have taken different approaches, passing full CBD legalization through their legislatures to match with the federal standard. The Transportation Security Administration this week updated its rules to allow people to fly with CBD, which had previously led to arrest.

With all these facts considered, it’s hard not to see why Americans are looking to the FDA for guidance and clarity, or at least to be left alone. It all turns on the long journey that kicks off Friday.

For now, you can still leave a comment with the FDA during their public comment period that runs until July 2. Learn more with the link below. [5]