Editor's Note
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb published an opinion piece in the Washington Post that urges the agency to approve the sale of some CBD food and supplement products immediately, while effecting a framework for their safe and proper regulation and a pathway for an enforceable market for these goods. Gottlieb asserts that FDA could put the onus on manufacturers to submit new dietary ingredient notifications or food additive petitions to demonstrate that CBD can be safely added to food and supplement products, and notes these are the same standards all new ingredients are held to. Gottlieb contends that in the meantime, FDA could exercise enforcement discretion to allow CBD to be marketed if products meet certain conditions, like meeting good manufacturing requirements, demonstrating traceability, adhering to safe levels for purity and potency, and demonstrating that CBD is being added to food products only in very low concentrations that are unlikely to pose health risks. The opinions expressed by Gottlieb are in line AHPA's recent CBD advocacy efforts to quickly create a legal pathway to market for hemp-derived CBD products.
By Scott Gottlieb

Under current law, CBD is permitted in food or dietary supplements only if the FDA issues a regulation allowing its use. This is a multiyear process subject to notice and comment, requiring a substantial amount of scientific data that the FDA must evaluate.

Given the pressure on the FDA to create a more immediate path for CBD products, this route might simply take too long. But there is a way that the FDA can fulfill its public-health obligations and meet the political demand for these goods: It can approve the sale of some CBD products immediately, while effecting a framework for their safe and proper regulation and a pathway for an enforceable market for these goods.

Scott Gottlieb, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was the 23rd commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from May 2017 to April 2019.