Attorneys General Urge FDA To Protect Consumers Of Cannabis Products

The cannabidiol (CBD) industry has seen a surge of new growth since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill which was signed into law on December 20.

The bill removed cannabis products with less than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the Controlled Substances Act and permitted individual states to develop plans to regulate CBD within their borders.

The bill also preserved the Food and Drug Administration’s overarching authority to regulate products that contain cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.

But while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet established a regulatory framework for cannabis products, the agency has been working toward creating one.

From May 31 – July 16, the FDA opened a public comment period to allow stakeholders and others to provide insight and help in the development of national regulatory guidelines for cannabis products.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and a bipartisan coalition of 37 other State Attorneys General submitted written comments to the FDA, urging the agency to cooperate with states to help safeguard consumers against misleading or false advertising claims and from any potential risks from using cannabis products.

“Any product that impacts the health of New Mexican families and consumers must be safe, plain and simple,” said Balderas in a press release. “Federal and State authorities must work together to ensure fairness in the marketplace and consumer safety for all products within our State.”

In their comments to the FDA, the Attorneys General call for the agency to ensure the safety of CBD and other cannabis-derived products and continue to study their potential risks and benefits, particularly the interactions between cannabinoids such as THC or CBD and other drugs and dietary supplements.

“A crucial element of FDA regulation and oversight should be an on-going assessment of the potential risks or benefits of these products,” wrote the Attorneys General. “Particularly for specific populations such as pregnant women, adolescents and children, and the elderly.”

The AGs say that companies are creating a myriad of cannabis products that are largely free from regulatory oversight and packaging, labeling, and testing requirements, which raises public health concerns.

According to the AGs, the responsibility of protecting cannabis consumers rests ultimately on the FDA and cannot solely be left up to the companies.