At an event hosted by the Brookings Institution on Tuesday, outgoing Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb shared updates regarding the status of hemp-derived CBD at the national level.
According to Gottlieb, even though the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, when it comes to CBD, the law only allows the FDA to contemplate putting a substance in the food supply if it goes through a rule-making process. Under normal circumstances, he added, this can take up to three years. With CBD, Gottlieb expects the process to take even longer.
The Commissioner reiterated that the FDA has launched a working group tasked with finding potential pathways to create a framework that will allow for CBD in the national food supply, he said. Legislation that specifically addresses the popular cannabinoid, Gottlieb underscored, is “the most efficient way” to legitimize its place in the market.
The commissioner also provided a few more details about the working group, saying that it will be announced “probably within a week” and will be co-chaired by principal deputy commissioner Amy Abernethy, along with associate commissioner for policy Lowell Schiller. The group, he added, would “probably have some recommendations, certainly, this summer.”
Another obstacle for CBD is that the DEA has not formally de-scheduled it, said Gottlieb.
“Then, there’s also, of course, the question of how you differentiate between CBD derived from hemp versus CBD derived from marijuana.”