History has officially been made.
As of January 1, 2019, hemp will be legal in the United States of America.
At 4pm on December 20, President Trump officially signed the finalized version of the 2018 Farm Bill.
A statement from the FDA immediately ensued, with the moment we’ve all been waiting for. According to the FDA, with the Farm Bill now signed into law, hemp (and hemp derived CBD) “will no longer be an illegal substance under federal law.”
The FDA is well-aware of the public’s growing interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including CBD. And they are here to uphold their commitment to protecting and promoting public health.
According to the recent press release, “Congress explicitly preserved the agency’s current authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.”
What exactly does this mean?
That the FDA has regulatory authority over CBD products. Beginning January 1, all products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds will be subject to the same authorities and requirements as any other FDA-regulated products.
In a Twitter thread, Gottlieb tweeted several important aspects of the press release published by the FDA.
THREAD: Today, the Agriculture Improvement Act which changes certain federal authorities relating to hemp was signed into law. However, it explicitly preserves FDA’s current authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds: https://t.co/HrUxtcaLPn
— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) December 20, 2018
One of the key messages conveyed in the FDA’s press release was the concern of the number of health claims being made about products that aren’t FDA-approved. It mentions:
Cannabis and cannabis-derived products claiming in their marketing and promotional materials that they’re intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of diseases (such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes) are considered new drugs or new animal drugs and must go through the FDA drug approval process for human or animal use before they are marketed in the U.S. Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective. This deceptive marketing of unproven treatments raises significant public health concerns, as it may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.
We know there are bad apples out there selling snake oil, but we also know there are several legitimate companies with products consumers claim have changed their lives.
With early studies and anecdotal evidence regarding the therapeutic benefits for the above-mentioned conditions (and more), it will be interesting to see how much increased government attention is now given to the research of CBD for such serious conditions.
Now that hemp is officially recognized by the FDA and will be taken off the list of Controlled Substances, the ability to readily research the therapeutic benefits of CBD is on the near horizon.
This, my friends, is game-changing. In an industry that’s been shrouded in uncertainty and seen many setbacks, the US Government now has no choice but to accept what science has been saying all along…that CBD is an amazing medicine and has the potential to treat countless conditions.
With President Trump’s signature now on the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has officially made the comeback we’ve all been waiting for. Stay tuned for what’s to come.
What a time to be alive!