On December 20th, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law. The new act changes many things relating to the production and marketing of hemp, as well as derivatives of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. These changes include (but are not limited to) removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which means that it will no longer be an illegal substance under federal law.
Congress also elected to preserve the FDA’s current authority to regulate products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds. Congress supporting the Food and Drug Administration as the authoritative group for public health and safety allows the FDA to continue enforcing many of the necessary laws that are in place to protect patients and consumers. Their team will advance new steps to better define our public health obligations in this (cannabis) area.
In the past, the FDA has already sent warning letters to companies illegally selling CBD products that claimed to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases, such as cancer. With so many of these products currently entering the market all at once, many of the companies are in violation of the FD&C Act because they were marketed as dietary supplements or because they involved the addition of CBD to food.
“The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.”