The FDA is putting together a group to identify “potential legislative pathways” for allowing CBD into the food supply.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said it could take years for the agency to create rules around cannabidiol (CBD) in food products without Congressional action.
At a Brookings Institution event, Gottlieb said both the cannabis industry and lawmakers are interested in developing rules for which CBD from hemp could be used in food products, Marijuana Moment reports.
“CBD didn’t previously exist in the food supply, and it exists as a drug under the statute,” said Gottlieb.
He said that current law only allows the FDA to “contemplate putting a drug that wasn’t previously in the food supply into the food supply if it goes through a rulemaking process.”
The process can take two to three years for typical products. Because of CBD’s association with marijuana, and because it was already approved by the FDA as a drug to treat epilepsy, it could take much longer.
But the FDA is putting together a “high-level work group” that will work to identify “some potential legislative pathways might be to create a framework for allowing CBD into the food supply.”
The work group will be co-chaired by Amy Abernethy, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner, and Lowell Shiller, the agency’s acting associate commissioner for policy.
Gottlieb said he expects the group to release some recommendations by the summer, according to Business Insider.
Gottlieb recently resigned as FDA Commissioner. The agency named Ned Sharpless acting commissioner. The search for a permanent replacement for Gottlieb is underway.