Yes, FDA’s upcoming public hearing on cannabis is important – and if you registered in time to get a spot in the room, we’ll see you there. But as stated in the agency’s Federal Register notice announcing the hearing, “FDA does not intend for this hearing to produce any decisions or new positions on specific regulatory questions.” Rather, the hearing “is expected to be an important step in [FDA’s] continued evaluation of cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in FDA-regulated products.” In other words, those who are expecting some significant development on May 31 with respect to the agency’s current stance on issues such as the use of CBD in conventional foods or dietary supplements are bound to be disappointed.
Nonetheless, the hearing is a big deal for at least two reasons. First, although CBD has taken center stage in the past few months, the hearing is not just about CBD – or even hemp, for that matter. It’s about cannabis; thus, the hearing includes in its scope both hemp and marijuana. Second, the hearing will give different stakeholders a very public forum in which to plant their respective flags, and to draw attention to the issues they view as critically important. Potential benefits of cannabis and its derivatives? Check. Potential safety concerns? Check. Protection of investments in pharmaceutical development? Check. Consumer access to safe and beneficial dietary supplements? Check. That alone would be worth the price of admission (if admission weren’t free).
Those coming late to the party can still join in remotely by registering for the online webcast here.