Hundreds of CBD Comments Bombard FDA as Public Hearing Draws Near

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The Federal Hundreds of comments have bombarded the FDA (Food of Drug Administration) as its first hearing on the legalization of CBD-infused foods and drinks draws near.

A report said that more than 400 people have sent their comments regarding CBD, which is published on Regulations.gov. Most of them are suggesting that regulations should be light and the FDA should allow companies to market CBD products in a legal way. Others also aired their opinions regarding the legalization of marijuana, a topic that is beyond the scope of the discussion.

FDA, through Amy Abernethy, principal deputy commissioner of the agency, provided a link where interested parties can register and participate in the hearing on Wednesday.

“Register now to participate in FDA’s May 31 public hearing on products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds like cannabidiol (CBD). We want to hear from stakeholders with diverse perspectives on these products: https://go.usa.gov/xmTR8,” she tweeted.

The FDA aimed to organize the comments by posting several questions concerning the safety of cannabis-derived products and the public’s opinion on how to improve the quality control measures, particularly on the kind of ‘validated analytical testing’ is needed to guarantee consistency of their service.

Some commenters raised their concern about product consistency of CBD products in different companies. Some offered possible options to allow hemp-derived CBD as part of food products and dietary supplements.

Earlier this month, the institution set the date of a public hearing regarding the regulation of CBD products, particularly on CBD-infused foods and drinks. Part of that announcement is the institution’s acceptance of oral presentations, as well as public and written comments about CBD products that will be accepted until July 2.

The announcement came out in the midst of the increasing number of restaurants serving CBD-infused foods and drinks all over the US. Another event that prompted this development is the shut down of three online CBD shopping sites– Advanced Spine and Pain’s Relievus, Nutra Pure LLC and PotNetwork Holdings Inc promoting ‘false marketing’ of the substance, as they claim that their CBD products can cure serious illnesses like cancer. Some of them also marketed them as food supplements.

“It’s critical that we address these unanswered questions about CBD and other cannabis and cannabis-derived products to help inform the FDA’s regulatory oversight of these products — especially as the agency considers whether it could be appropriate to exercise its authority to allow the use of CBD in dietary supplements and other foods,” Outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced on Tuesday this week.

The FDA will hold meetings at its headquarters near Washington, DC. These meetings involve group plans and sharing of findings regarding CBD-infused foods and drinks. Gottlieb told the public that these meetings for such a ‘complicated topic’ may take some time, but his team assures stakeholders their commitment to finding resolutions on this issue.

The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived products and removed CBD in the prohibited list. This, however, has limitations as the government still put CBD under further supervision. For now, the FDA only approved the prescription medication Epidiolex. The drug, however, was not previously introduced as part of the food supply, and rules concerning the distribution of CBD products remained complicated. Despite this, the institution hopes to provide an alternative pathway including the hearing that will take place on May 31 in hopes that this is the first step to the rulemaking process of CBD.

“FDA does not intend for this hearing to produce any decisions or new positions on specific regulatory questions, but this hearing is expected to be an important step in our continued evaluation of cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in FDA-regulated products,” according to Gottlieb.