New Commissioner Stephen Hahn of the Food and Drug Agency just admitted that people are using CBD-infused or topical products and that trying to ban them would be a “fool’s game.”
Hahn, a cancer doctor, finally spoke on CBD legalization and regulation this past week.
“We’re not going to be able to say you can’t use these products. It’s a fool’s game to try to even approach that.”
This is promising news, at least to the extent that it’s unlikely the FDA is going to try to ban CBD and take them off of shelves as a dietary supplement entirely.
Hahn went onto say that there might be value in CBD-infused products, but that it’s the FDA’s duty to distribute information to the public to help them make the “right decisions.”
USDA Gives Farmers a Break
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also surprised the industry this past week, delaying the requirement that says all THC testing on hemp must be performed by laboratories registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Many farmers and state officials argued the ruling, citing the lack of available DEA labs to fulfill their requirements. The USDA heard their complaint and made a statement. They promised to delay the stringency of the new certification process moving forward.
However, the registration requirement is ultimately still in place and the DEA expects state agencies to cooperate for certification for next year.
This was a victory for hemp farmers, who will temporarily be able to use their local analytical testing labs for federal compliance.
FDA Remains Silent About CBD Benefits
While the agency continues to acknowledge the drug’s potential and obvious popularity, they fall short of naming any specific benefits beyond what Epidiolex makers cite. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, Professor of Neurology, working with GW Pharmaceuticals, says Epidiolex hitting the market was a “landmark in medicine.”
“A plant that has been used medicinally for probably well over 5,000 years has finally had one compound extracted from it and now is available to patients.”
He listed the primary use of CBD as a treatment for seizures, claiming that cannabidiol “blocks GPR55 receptors”, making it a very “effective drug.”
CBD – Not Legal to Administer?
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, a mother learned that school nurses cannot legally administer CBD oil or medicinal marijuana to children. That left her in a predicament since her child suffers from seizures early in the day. She is fighting to pass a bill that would allow school staff and nurses to administer CBD or medical cannabis in the event of a seizure. At the present time, her son can only receive dosing in the morning and evening.
CBD Industry Takes A Hit
Unfortunately, the FDA’s decision to put CBD on hiatus, declaring its marketing and dietary infusion as illegal and unsafe, has finally started to affect the economy.
Portland-based CBD company Sentia Wellness has laid off 30 people in just one week. A spokesperson comments that the FDA is to blame since their decision to “not provide regulatory clarity to the industry had consequences.”
She claims that if the regulatory landscape improves the company might bring those that were laid off back. The FDA’s refusal to set clear guidelines for 2019 caused the entire CBD industry a major financial setback.
Hemp prices also fell as the demand for CBD products fell, as the market is oversupplied while also being severely limited by FDA rules and issued warnings. Currently, the FDA legally forbids CBD dealers selling the drug as a dietary supplement, though enforcing such laws is still rare.
All the agency has done so far is issue warnings to various CBD companies to stop making medical claims. In some major cities, health inspectors have ordered restaurants to stop selling CBD drinks.
Brands Are Demanding Higher Standards
Meanwhile, brands like Sephora are stepping up and in front of the FDA’s own mandates, by raising the standards of CBD beauty products. In an industry that’s under-regulated and villainized because of that, Sephora has decided to unveil its own list of high standards to help reshape the industry.
Sephora’s Cindy Deily says “Our new standards are the first for a national prestige retailer and set baseline parameters around CBD sourcing and testing.”
She further states that all products will require:
- A Clean at Sephora certification
- Made with full or broad-spectrum CBD and only made from domestically grown hemp
- Independently tested three times
- Verified for purity and quality
CBD and Mushrooms – The Future?
Finally, we come to what could be an evolution in CBD – if a rather unusual one. In Alaska, a company in Wasilla is combining cannabidiol with mushrooms, hoping to create a natural remedy to replace pharmaceutical drugs. NuLyfe Labs says his extract combinations will help treat:
- Chronic Pain
However, the owner of NuLyfe claims the mushroom extracts are “shrooms” or psychedelic, but rather “adaptogenic mushrooms”, which are non-toxic mushrooms that help to “normalize body processes.”
What’s Next for the FDA and CBD?
The FDA may well have its hands full at the moment, as the coronavirus is rumored to be spreading in major cities prompting states and government agencies to start preparing for a pandemic situation. The agency is now allowing more labs to immediately begin testing for the virus and also allowing new diagnostic technologies for testing. Even more disturbing is the fact that FDA is literally censoring information from the public regarding a mysterious “drug shortage” that coronavirus has been causing – but one that the FDA refuses to name as it is “confidential commercial information.”
The FDA has a history of angering groups regarding their confidentiality rules, not to mention their mysterious stall of legalizing CBD marketing and developing regulation and medical research.
For the time being, we might well assume that while coronavirus is making headlines, the FDA will put CBD regulations on the backburner for now.
But coronavirus may well affect the cannabis and cannabidiol industry in other ways outside of government legislation.
Will Coronavirus Strike CBD?
China has been hit hardest by COVID-19 and this disaster could disrupt its once-booming hemp industry. In the long run, this will benefit American hemp farmers competing with Chinese suppliers on the global market.
Even hardware items China was once known for selling, like vaporizers, could shift to other global markets. One expert says that many small CBD companies that bought hardware supplies from China will be crippled by coronavirus fallout. China was the cheapest option for a long time but if demand is decreased, it will impact every company that exports its supply.
That, along with the FDA’s cold war against small CBD dealers suggests only the smartest, or at least the most well-funded brands will survive upcoming challenges.
Cannabidiol markets will continue to evolve as the world itself changes and new policies are implemented to protect and treat the masses, now more than ever, in need of relief.
WHO DID WHAT
The FDA admitted it has no plans to ban CBD or do anything like that since that would be “foolish” in the words of FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.
WHAT WENT DOWN
Coronavirus also happened and it is bound to change practically every industry on a global level. CBD and cannabis are bound to be impacted, starting with a spike in U.S. hemp production.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR NEXT
What will the FDA have to say about containing COVID-19? With more on their agenda, will they become more lenient in dealing with a congressional push for CBD regulation?
Written by Rwcustomwriting@gmail.com