The legal status of CBD products

By Beth Anne Jackson, Esq. on May 28, 2019 3:49:00 PM

Background. Cannabidiol (CBD), derived from cannabis (cannabis sativa L.), has been marketed for several years, but interest in CBD products – and the number of outlets selling such products – skyrocketed after Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill). The Farm Bill, among other things, established a new category of cannabis – hemp – defined as cannabis with 0.3 percent or less concentration of compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Products meeting the definition of hemp were removed from the purview of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Companies manufacturing CBD products interpreted this to mean that their CBD products were legal so long as they were derived from hemp. However, a statement from the federal Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) recently departed commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, on April 2, 2019, emphasized that the Farm Bill “explicitly preserved the FDA’s current authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compound under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.”

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