Bipartisan Legislators Circulate Letter Asking FDA to Back Off CBD Firms

September 18, 2019 15:00:43

A pair of bipartisan legislators is circulating a letter asking for the support of their colleagues in calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to back off the CBD companies that are conducting business in a responsible manner.

This effort is being spearheaded by Reps. James Corner (R-KY) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME). Their letter stresses that CBD and hemp were legalized in 2018 and the current lack of regulations is creating uncertainty and stifling economic opportunities within the industry.

It should be remembered that the FDA has in the past indicated that it is developing rules for the CBD sector, and possibly an alternative regulatory pathway under which CBD could be allowed into the food chain. However, FDA former commissioner Scott Gottlieb indicated that such an alternative regulatory system could take years.

In the meantime, it appears that the FDA is being selective in the way it is taking enforcement action against the CBD companies that make unsubstantiated claims about their products. The FDA is also saying that all CBD companies are in breach of the law.

The question therefore is, if all companies are breaking the law (assuming that was even true), why aren’t all companies receiving cease and desist letters from the FDA?

The two lawmakers aren’t satisfied and they argue in their letter that the direction taken by the FDA isn’t sustainable since the USDA is set to release its interim final hemp rules in a matter of weeks.

The letter authored by the two lawmakers says that the FDA should act quickly and provide a regulatory framework for the CBD industry so that there is clarity about the direction and status of the industry.

The lawmakers commend the FDA for taking enforcement action against the companies that the agency considers to be the worst offenders, but they urge the FDA to do its work without creating regulatory uncertainty for CBD sector players like farmers, processors and consumers.

The letter therefore has two specific requests for the FDA Acting Commissioner Sharpless. First, they want his agency to quickly release a guidance policy on how the regulator plans to conduct enforcement actions in the CBD space. Secondly, they want the federal agency to release interim final rules permitting CBD to be used as a food additive and a dietary supplement.

The letter asks other members of Congress to sign on and the deadline for this exercise is Thursday, after which the signed letter will be sent to the head of the FDA.

Experts think such a letter is welcome in the eyes of sector players like The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) and Therma Bright Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) because once the FDA acts upon it, compliance departments in CBD companies will have a clearer job to do.

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