FDA CBD Regulations Are On the Way (Sorta)

There has been so much talk from the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) around cannabidiol (“CBD”) regulations that it makes one’s head spin. For years everyone has wondered when, or even if, the FDA would propose and adopt CBD regulations. To date, while taking input from the public on the topic, the FDA mostly has engaged in enforcement, sometimes in tandem with Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), against CBD retailers. Now though, it sounds like FDA is serious about CBD regulations in the context of both food and supplements.

A little CBD history

Until recently, CBD resided in a legal penumbra where hemp was still scheduled on the federal Controlled Substances Act and could not be cultivated without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”). With the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, CBD derived from hemp — if cultivated pursuant to a state research pilot program — got a little bit of precarious legal cover. None of that stopped the FDA from taking the position that CBD is not a supplement, and that it cannot be an ingredient in food and beverages for humans or pets without violating the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”). And marketing any bodily

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