As health and wellness trends continue to rise, so does the interest in cannabidiol (CBD) products. But with the lack of regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S., a Congressional committee has been forced to step in and address the inaction. At a public hearing on Tuesday, the group held a deep and lively discussion on the potential benefits of CBD, as well as the urgent need for regulatory guidelines.
1. Congress Challenges FDA on CBD Regulations
The debate between the FDA and Congress over the regulations of CBD products has been heating up, with a number of proposed bills trying to quickly address the growing demand for the substance. Congress is pushing the FDA to loosen its restrictions on CBD as well as take into account the potential therapeutic uses of the product.
Proponents of CBD argue it has medical benefits that can treat conditions such as chronic inflammation, anxiety, and depression, and point to the overwhelming consumer demand for the product. Congress has introduced a number of bills hoping to speed up the approval prior to the FDA’s response, with 10 of those bills addressing the federal regulation of CBD. They include current top issues such as:
- Hemp Farming Act of 2018: seeks to federally legalize and regulate CBD by removing industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
- Hemp Education and Marketing Act: seeks to establish a hemp-research framework for the Department of Agriculture.
- Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act: seeks to amend current DEA regulations to allow for an increase in the number of entities licensed to produce marijuana for research purposes.
Though the FDA has been slow to pick up much of the legislation, the increasing pressure from Congress is likely to result in a faster response. The demand for CBD is too great to ignore, and regulations of the product must be revisited in order to keep up with the changing times.
2. FDA Refrain from Outlining Regulatory Plans
It’s a frustrating situation for those who eagerly await approval of cutting-edge medical treatments. The FDA has recently stated that they will not outline any timeline or specific plans for its regulation of new medical therapies.
The lack of information is particularly concerning for those hoping to integrate experimental treatments into their regular healthcare regimen.
However, the FDA is adamant in their stance: too many variables to predict the perfect conditions for regulatory approval. It appears that the small window of opportunity may remain closed for a while longer.
- The FDA has declined to provide a roadmap for regulation approval. This has frustrated those hoping to access advanced treatments.
- The FDA insists that the unpredictable dynamics of new medical therapies prevents them from issuing regulations. This keeps potential therapies in limbo.
3. Resolving the CBD Policy Quandary
The CBD policy quandary is a tricky one to unravel. On the one hand, hemp-derived CBD products are quickly becoming one of the most sought after wellness products on the market. On the other, many local, state, and federal laws surrounding the sale of CBD products are still murky. So how can retailers navigate this regulatory labyrinth?
We all must start with education. Educating yourself about the laws and regulations surrounding CBD will pay off in the long run. Plus, knowing the legal implications of offering products online, in stores, or both will help keep retailers from running into unresolvable conflicts. For international transactions, stay up-to-date on import and export laws. Create internal policies for advertising, labeling, store policies, and signature products. Lastly, make sure that the CBD products you buy are of certified quality and meet safety standards like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
- Educate yourself about the laws and regulations surrounding CBD
- Stay up-to-date on import and export laws
- Create internal policies for advertising, labeling, store policies, and signature products
- Ensure quality of products by verifying they meet safety standards
4. Search for a Solution Gains Momentum
As the search for a solution to the current situation intensifies, momentum is steadily rising. With various stakeholders pushing for tangible positive results, conversations are taking place all over the globe. Communities are discussing and strategizing together how to move forward.
The ideas put forth are bold and ingenious. Out of the box thinking is becoming the norm with many working tirelessly to make sure no stone is left unturned. Ideologies are being dissected, new ones propagated. Inspiration is taking flight and transcending boundaries.
- Creative approaches to the problem are the order of the day.
- Analytical perspectives are being used to dissect the issues.
- Collaborative efforts are forming a strong bond between the stakeholders.
At Tuesday’s hearing, it was clear that the Food and Drug Administration is in desperate need of action concerning the regulatory framework that is needed to ensure the consumer safety of CBD products. As the conversation continues, it is of critical import that Congress acts swiftly to ensure that the FDA institutes new policies that demonstrate a heightened focus on consumer safety as it relates to CBD products. Nonetheless, the conversation is just beginning and it remains to be seen what impact this hearing will have on the way the FDA and Congress address CBD regulations in the future.