Even though U.S. government says they are illegal CBD oil-infused food, lattes, drinks and dietary supplements are flying off the shelves. Some local authorities have forced some retailers to pull products.
Lawmakers in Texas and California are often in opposition, but they’re both pushing bipartisan legislation to sidestep federal law and allow sales of the compound found in hemp and marijuana. Republicans and Democrats in Congress also are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change its stance.
The FDA announced Tuesday that it will hold a public hearing in May to gather more information.
The FDA has oversight of CBD because it is the active ingredient in an approved prescription drug to treat two rare seizure disorders. The agency says CBD can’t be added to food or sold as a dietary supplement because officials haven’t determined if it’s safe or effective for other conditions.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Congress last week that enforcement is being limited to sellers who make false health claims. He says the agency recently sent warning letters to three companies touting CBD as a treatment for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia and drug addiction.
“But there are products on the market right now that, given our enforcement priorities and our limited resources, we haven’t taken action against,” he said.
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule found in hemp and marijuana. Both are cannabis plants, but only marijuana has enough of the compound THC to get users high.
CBD oil is extracted when the plant is processed. While hemp derivatives are essentially THC-free, CBD oil from marijuana may have very little or enough to produce a high.
People say CBD helps with pain, anxiety and inflammation, though limited scientific research supports those claims. It can now be found in lotions, cosmetics and soap to diet pills, juices, cocktails, candy and drinks.
San Francisco health officials recently barred two small operators from selling CBD-infused food and drink, while authorities in rural Grass Valley, 140 miles (308 kilometres) away, did the same to a small, co-operatively owned grocery store.
“It caught us way off guard,” said Gus Dabais, owner of Sidewalk Wellness, one of the stores targeted.
Texas lawmakers are pushing a measure that would legalize hemp oil-infused edibles. It sailed through its first committee in the House this week. California, has a similar CBD measure that has moved on to the full Assembly.
“A number of people have been using it for years, and you can find it on retail shelves all over the place, but now people are surprised to find it’s against the law,” said Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, a Napa-area Democrat who introduced the measure. “What this bill will do is clear up the confusion.”
“This would lift a legal cloud from a legitimate California business,” said Jim Gross of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an industry association.
A growing number of federal lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, are urging the FDA to approve CBD. They backed a measure taking hemp off the U.S. government’s list of banned substances.
“Hemp is a versatile crop with many uses and applications,” McConnell and Wyden wrote to the FDA in February. “We are hopeful that by working with you on the implementation of our legislation, we can help ensure that hemp can be a new cash crop for farmers across the country.”
Source – Growth Op
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