The legalization of industrial hemp has prompted the FDA to relax its stance on the inclusion of CBD in food and drink.
The agency issued press releases to that effect following the passage of this year’s Farm Bill, which legalized hemp cultivation, this month. According to Marijuana Moment:
The federal agency stressed that it retains the right to regulate products containing cannabis and would take enforcement action against businesses that make unsanctioned claims about the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) products, including those derived from hemp, or attempt to introduce such products into interstate commerce.
“In view of the proliferation of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived substances, the FDA will advance new steps to better define our public health obligations in this area,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. “We’ll also continue to closely scrutinize products that could pose risks to consumers.”
Hemp legalization is already having major ripple effects in the business world. According to CNBC:
The changes to the farm bill are enough for Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth to enter the U.S. market, CEO Bruce Linton said in a statement, adding that the company will also be able to support American farmers.
“Canopy Growth will participate in the American market now that there is a clear federally-permissible path to the market,” he said.
Banks, which have been steering clear of handling hemp or cannabis-related business, also may be more apt to broker deals or process other transactions that they have previously avoided because the products weren’t legal under federal laws, Fox Rothschild’s Horn said.
According to MarketWatch, businesses were cheered by hemp legalization. The site reports:
Qualis Cannabis Corp. Chief Product Officer Julien Morris said that the bill grants the same legitimacy to hemp farmers as others in agriculture.
“It allows them to use banks, get insurance and investment capital will be less spooked,” he said over the phone.
Luke Zigovits, chief executive of Wisconsin-based Hemp Science, said, “We can finally relax. Because now we can source seed, now we can sell our product across state lines. Prohibition is over. It broadens horizons, allowing universities to do research, for example.” Beyond moving the industry into legitimacy, Zigovits said there are opportunities for tobacco farmers in Wisconsin and elsewhere to start growing industrial hemp crops as well.