Americans for Safe Access Selected to Influence FDA Policy

Contact: Sean Khalepari | [email protected]

Washington, DC — On May 31, 2019 the FDA will be holding a public hearing to collect scientific information and data on cannabis and cannabis derived products. In holding this hearing, the FDA is seeking public input on topics including health & safety risks, manufacturing & product quality, and marketing, labeling and sales. The FDA hearing on Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-Derived Compounds is scheduled from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM.

The FDA received almost 400 requests to present and/or provide oral remarks at the hearing. Americans for Safe Access was one of seventy-two organizations selected to give a formal presentation, and one of only fifty-two organizations selected to give a full five minute presentation with slides.

“With only five minutes to present information to the FDA, we are limited in what we can accomplish in such a short time frame” said Heather Despres, M. Sc., Director of Patient Focused Certification. “However, with the submission of our written comments and our in-person testimony, we can show the FDA not only the scientific information they are looking for but also provide solutions to problems and give patients the voice they deserve.”

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill) legalized industrial hemp (cannabis plants containing not more than 0.3% THC), which has sparked even further interest in CBD products. Some estimates indicate that the legal CBD industry will generate more than than $22 billion dollars by 2022. Many have turned to CBD products to assist with general wellness or to improve specific health conditions. In response to this, ASA will be releasing their Patient’s Guide to CBD next week. 

As of May 30, 827 comments have been submitted to the FDA through the agency’s online portal. The comment period closes on July 2. This public hearing is likely to be the first of many as the FDA promulgates rules for cannabis products.