The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday that it was “expediting” its efforts to develop rules for CBD and plans to issue a report on the department’s progress by early fall.
FDA Acting Chief Information Officer Amy Abernethy tweeted that “FDA is expediting its work to address the many questions about cannabidiol (CBD).” Describing it as “an important national issue with public health impact, & an important topic for American hemp farmers and many other stakeholders.”
“We are enthusiastic about research into the therapeutic benefits of CBD products but also need to balance safety,” she said. “To understand the breadth of issues and gather data on safety, we have conducted a public hearing, reviewed the medical literature, and have an open public docket.”
The FDA public hearing on May 31 involved testimony from numerous industry stakeholders and policymakers, who emphasized the importance of developing regulations so that hemp-derived CBD products could market lawfully as food items and dietary supplements.
Because CBD exists as an FDA-approved drug and hasn’t previously been added to the food supply, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that the rulemaking process to create an alternative regulatory framework could take years without congressional action.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said in a letter to the agency last month that their timeline is “fully unacceptable” and urged FDA to speed up the process.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who helped federally legalize hemp and its derivatives through the 2018 Farm Bill, echoed that point in a meeting with FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless.
There are still a few more days before the deadline for the public and stakeholders to weigh in with FDA regarding the health and safety risks, manufacturing and product quality, and marketing standards of CBD, Abernethy said, urging people to “submit comments & data by 7/16/19.”