The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started receiving comments on CBD regulation from the public and other stakeholders in April and the comments period came to an end early last week.
The agency had initially planned to close the comments period on July 2 but the overwhelming public interest in the matter led the FDA to extent that deadline to July 16. By the close of the comments period, more than 4,400 submissions had been filed by individuals and organization.
The comments received covered everything imaginable about the therapeutic effects of CBD, how the compound should be tested, packaged and marketed, as well as matters of consumer protection and law enforcement.
There were hundreds of comments from individuals who claimed that CBD had helped them to deal with the symptoms of different health challenges, such as pain and anxiety. Other people claimed that they were able to wean themselves off of other drugs that had serious side effects by using CBD.
Several health associations and medical professionals submitted comments to the effect that the agency should regulate CBD as a health supplement as long as strict labeling and quality standards are set for manufacturers.
The Dravet Syndrome Foundation submitted a comment urging the FDA to formulate regulations that standardize the labeling of CBD supplements on matters of concentration, stability and the ingredients in the products since Dravet syndrome sufferers have been turning to these products after failing to get relief from the existing remedies.
A group of 37 state attorneys general also wrote to the FDA asking the agency to formulate rules that would protect consumers by requiring manufacturers to provide accurate information about the risks and potential benefits of CBD products. This would enable consumers to make an informed decision about the CBD products they use.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) submitted their comment requesting the FDA to design a program through which the state laws on CBD and other related products could be gradually aligned with the federal regulations on these products. By bringing uniformity to the CBD rules across different jurisdictions, the FDA will have taken a significant step towards safeguarding consumers from adulterated, mislabeled and contaminated CBD products, CSPI added.
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) called on the FDA to work closely with them in order to find ways to regulate the industry without stifling its growth.
The FDA will use these comments, along with any other input it receives from other fora, such as a planned hemp conference next month, while formulating the draft rules for the hemp industry which are slated to be released in August.
Marijuana industry analysts believe that players like VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) and TransCanna Holdings Inc. (CSE: TCAN) (FRA: TH8), will be eager to see what rules are finally released since CBD products could be an additional moneymaker for these entities.
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