FDA Submits Cannabis Policy to the White House

cbd regulations | cbd policy | cbd enforcement

On a federal level, cannabis policy and CBD policy are under constant review. However, monumental changes have been rare. State-level regulations are providing an important precedent, however, as well as clearing a path for necessary national regulations. Read on for the latest news regarding U.S. national policy on cannabis and CBD regulations.

Reclassification reshaping cannabis policy

In April 2024, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration initiated a movement to reclassify cannabis under federal law. Under the change, cannabis would be rescheduled under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to Schedule III, replacing its Schedule I status.

Schedule I substances are deemed to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse, while Schedule III substances are considered to have a moderate to low potential for dependence. The decision is subject to approval by the White House Office of Management and Budget. If passed, the rescheduling would remove burdensome Tax Code 280E from cannabis regulations.

New cannabis regulations could close TCHA, HHC and Delta-8 loopholes

Filed in late May, a proposed amendment aims to ban “all ingestible hemp products with any level of THC.” The $1.5 trillion Farm Bill has wording designed to “close the loophole” on TCHA, HHC and Delta-8 THC. U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, an Illinois Republican, filed a recommended amendment to “exclude” products with detectable amounts of THC as well as any cannabinoid “synthesized or manufactured outside of the plant.” Further, the amendment also redefines “hemp” under federal law to mean a cannabis plant with 0.3% or less THC.

Changing cannabis enforcement for veterans

In the beginning of June, the House of Representatives approved amendments to a major federal spending bill authorizing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to accept medical cannabis use by veterans, eliminating negative cannabis enforcement. The amendments have been attached to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (MilConVA) Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill. Under the amendment, veterans would be allowed to participate in state-legal medical cannabis programs. This pending change varies from previous proposals to allow VA doctors to prescribe cannabis.

New CBD policy from the FDA

In CBD regulations and CBD enforcement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would “work with Congress” to establish rules for hemp-derived cannabinoid products after it denied three petitions in January to allow the marketing of CBD products as dietary supplements. The FDA also stated the agency would “work with Congress” on a regulatory pathway for the cannabinoid.

Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement, “The use of CBD raises various safety concerns, especially with long-term use. Studies have shown the potential for harm to the liver, interactions with certain medications and possible harm to the male reproductive system. CBD exposure is also concerning when it comes to certain vulnerable populations, such as children and those who are pregnant.” Woodcock said the decision would allow policymakers to develop “a new regulatory pathway for CBD … that balances individuals’ desire for access to CBD products with the regulatory oversight needed to manage risks.” She added that the agency has “not found adequate evidence to determine how much CBD can be consumed, and for how long, before causing harm” and, therefore, “do not intend to pursue rulemaking allowing the use of CBD in dietary supplements or conventional foods.”

Research and cannabis enforcement

Cannabis research was also in the news recently when officials from multiple federal health agencies attended a conference to discuss the state of marijuana science and cannabis policy considerations for researchers navigating studies under continued prohibition. The event was organized by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Craig Hopp, deputy director of the NCCIH’s division of extramural research, called the Justice Department’s recent proposal to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) the “obvious elephant in the room” for the federal researchers, while David Shurtleff, deputy director of NCCIH, said “Anything that moves research quicker, faster, better — we’re all for, and we just hope that this will make life easier for our researchers.”

Federal agencies that participated in the event include the National Eye Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Despite the difficulties associated with studying controlled substances, research has increased amid expanding legalization and reduced laws around cannabis enforcement. According to an analysis by NORML, at the end of 2023, scientists have published more than 32,000 cannabis studies over the past decade, with some recent years setting records for research.

Learn the latest in cannabis policy at CannaCon

Changes to cannabis regulations and CBD regulations can be easy to miss, especially when progress occurs at what feels like a glacial pace. Trust CannaCon, the nation’s leading business-to-business cannabis conference, for all your news and updates. If your goal is to really grow your cannabis knowledge and network, get tickets to the next CannaCon today.

This article was originally published on August 25, 2020 and updated on June 12, 2024. 

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