Bradley attorney Whitt Steineker was quoted in CBD-Intel on how businesses are responding to the 2018 Farm Act, which seems to open the door to industrial hemp and hemp derivatives. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still have rules preventing products from being sold across state lines, however.
For now, different businesses are taking different approaches to the uncertainty, based on their own reading of the rules and risk tolerances, explained Steineker.
Steineker believes certain businesses are going full steam ahead with food and beverage-infused hemp (and hemp-derived CBD) in light of the passing of the Farm Act.
“I continue to think, however, that the best course of action is to get FDA buy-in on the permissibility of using hemp products in food and beverages before placing those products in commerce,” he said. “Given that FDA is actively, albeit not universally, enforcing its current position, I do not believe this is a situation where it is better to seek forgiveness rather than permission.”
Steineker said this type of confusion is not tenable in the long term. The FDA is likely to issue guidance in the coming months, clarifying its position one way or the other.
“If FDA issues stronger guidance prohibiting the use of hemp products in food and beverages, we’re likely to see a legal fight,” Steineker added. “If FDA adopts the position that hemp-derived products may be included in food and beverages, we’re poised to see an explosion in this space.
“I do not believe we have begun to scratch the surface about what hemp can do, and a green light from regulators would pave the way for a massive influx of smart money and research that should lead to a wide range of new applications for hemp and improvements in existing applications.”
The complete article, “Knotty Regulation Keeps CBD Traffic Still Tied up on State Lines,” first appeared in CBD-Intel on February 4, 2019.