Last Friday, the FDA held a hearing which encouraged public comment from 140 people who volunteered to discuss cannabis and cannabis-derived products.
According to CNBC, the FDA heard from researchers, farmers, retailers and advocates in regards to legalizing CBD. CBD derived from hemp is already legalized, but CBD derived from a THC-producing plant is still only legal in certain states.
The first individual to speak out was Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest summarized the plight that cannabis and its derived products currently face. “The absence to date, of advanced regulatory thinking relative to CBD has resulted in a maelstrom of false claims and shoddy quality standards,” he stated. “It’s time for the proponents of CBD, including many highly vocal patients, physicians, pharmacists, manufacturers and distributors, to become part of the solution. Quality must always trump corporate convenience.”
However, some who spoke at the hearing were not as optimistic about the outcome. “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,” said Jonathan Havens, co-chair of the cannabis law practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. Some of the many concerns voiced at the hearing included addiction, cannabis’ benefits in treating conditions such as epilepsy, the need for more research, and how stricter regulatory standards are necessary to monitor for
In addition to these hearings, CBD has been garnering a lot of public support. The TSA has allowed hemp-derived CBD on flights and many celebrities such as Ozzy Osbourne have been speaking out in favor of CBD.
Although the public hearing is over, the FDA is still asking for comments through July 2. The cannabis industry has already been pushing to get more CBD regulations in place and this could be the chance for both more regulation and more legalization. The industry is already very profitable, as it is projected to become a $22 billion business by 2022.