CBDs and the FDA. Collision course or Consumer Protection?

Many believe that CBDs are simply legal, over-the-counter products now. As I’ve written, and as reality is confirming, it is not that simple. That aside, the current, winter/spring 2019 immediate new challenge is a little different.

Once the 2018 Farm Bill was passed federally this Fall, the landscape changed. Regardless of the contradiction with the Farm Bill and the Controlled Substances Act, changing by the day, hemp is de facto legal. In many ways it might as well be. BUT IT IS NOT THE SAME THING!!  Do many truly believe it is? Yes. Are many of those very smart, “in tune” pot lawyers? Yes!. Is the question clear? No! And the landscape is changing fast.

The latest issue this winter/spring 2019, may be the FDA. Once the Farm Bill said “hemp is a legal legitimate crop for many reasons,” the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, took a sincere interest in hemp. They may well have been looking at this issue for years.

So what is the FDA? What is their Mission Statement? In other words, do we care what they think? The answer is “yes we probably do care what they think and do.” They may be well within their assigned mission when it comes to some CBD products. While they don’t “own” CBD, they do have rather broad powers.

From the FDA Website of the Federal Government, https://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/

FDA Mission

The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors.

FDA is responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medical products more effective, safer, and more affordable and by helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medical products and foods to maintain and improve their health.

FDA also plays a significant role in the Nation’s counterterrorism capability. FDA fulfills this responsibility by ensuring the security of the food supply and by fostering development of medical products to respond to deliberate and naturally emerging public health threats.

To me, that seems to apply to many types of CBD products as currently being marketed and advertised and used. As to moral/intellectual judgments, if the FDA saw this coming, they should have said something. On the other hand, if the CBD industry saw this coming, they should have been planning for FDA approval for a while.

The reality may be that the FDA was sending them away, and is now saying “you can do nothing without our approval.” Do I really want to know the facts? Here’s what I’m pretty clear on. The FDA and the CBD courses of action are headed on a collision course. I hope I’m completely wrong.