FDA schedules a public hearing on cannabis

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The hearing will be held in Maryland at the end of next month

While the debate rages over the virtues of cannabidiol (CBD), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) remains firm in its position of not approving CBD-infused products. This has led to a number of states around the country to put a halt to CBD items on restaurant menus and on store shelves, and the cannabis industry – as well as lawmakers – are clamoring for a better response. The FDA has announced that it will hold a public hearing at the end of May in order to better understand cannabis and cannabis compounds such as CBD.

The hearing will be held in Silver Spring, MD on May 31. According to a notice published today on the Federal Register, it is designed to gather “scientific data and information about the safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.”

In accordance with the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, the FDA has determined that CBD is not a product that can be added to conventional food or dietary supplements. However, based on a lack of clear guidance, the cannabis industry has defied the position and has continued to roll out new products.

For many, the FDA isn’t moving fast enough, but at least it’s trying to make progress. Scott Gottlieb, who will be resigning as the FDA commissioner in the near future, has indicated that the agency is dedicated to coming up with a solution and said in a statement yesterday, “The public hearing will give stakeholders an opportunity to provide the FDA with additional input relevant to the agency’s regulatory strategy related to existing products, as well as the lawful pathways by which appropriate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed, and how we can make these legal pathways more predictable and efficient. We hope to gain additional information and data for the FDA to consider with respect to products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD.”