Hemp Is Now Legal Thanks to the Farm Bill. Here Comes the FDA

(Bloomberg) -- Now that hemp is legal in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says it plans to figure out how it will oversee an expected explosion in products containing the compound CBD.

A provision of the farm bill signed by President Donald Trump Thursday strikes hemp from a list of federally controlled substances. That removes a major obstacle for companies like Coca-Cola Co. that are interested in selling CBD-infused drinks. But it will take the FDA time to give companies a roadmap.

Key Insights

  • Despite the farm bill changes, CBD can’t yet be used in food or drinks because it is a pharmaceutical ingredient approved for use in certain drugs, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. CBD can relax users but doesn’t get them high.
  • The FDA says it will look into whether it could allow the use of a drug ingredient in food. It will hold a public meeting “in the near future” to determine next steps.
  • For now, the FDA will continue to stop companies from marketing CBD as a drug or disease-thwarting dietary supplement without vetting and approval by the agency, the statement said.
  • Coca-Cola has said it will wait to market CBD drinks until the rules are clear.

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  • The FDA approved an epilepsy drug from GW Pharmaceuticals Plc this year that uses CBD derived directly from marijuana.

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