The 2018 Farm Bill is driving the cannabidiol industry. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive substance that is derived from cannabis. Though the Farm Bill has its limitations, the Federal Government has allegedly taken the position in the Cole Memo that the U.S. Department of Justice will not enforce federal prohibitions where states legally permit the substance. Thereafter, Epidolex, a prescription drug featuring CBD, was approved by the FDA. The drug is specifically used to hold those with rare forms of epilepsy.
Due to the Farm Bill and its development, businesses are looking forward at opportunities. Of course, to fully understand the scope of the Bill and its effect, here is an overview of regulatory myths.
Top 5 Regulatory Myths
MYTH: CBD is 100% Legal and is Not a Controlled Substance
This is a myth. The 2018 Farm Bill provides that industrial hemp and its derivatives are not scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, so long as they are produced in compliance with hemp programs by states. Cannabis falls into the category of industrial hemp and it derives, so long as they have 0.3% THC concentrations. The DEAD has jurisdiction over CBD that is derived from marijuana. Marijuana is also still a Schedule I substance. As for states, about one-third have a program under the 2014 Farm Bill, another third do not have such a program and thus, do not permit the sale of CBD, and another third are currently in the developmental stages.
MYTH: FDA Approved CBD and Ads Online are Approved by the FDA
This is a myth. The FDA has not approved CBD products, it does not endorse such products, and it does not conduct any approval process for CBD formulas either. First, the FDA approves drugs, not supplements. A “drug” as defined by the FDA is “a substance recognized by an official pharmacopeia or formulary. A substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.” CBD does not fall into this definition.
Interestingly enough, the FDA has released a statement saying it has a “commitment to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under the authorities to lawfully market these types of products.” There are three hemp ingredients that the FDA is focusing on and they include hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, and hemp seed oil. These could be marketed as Generally Recognized as Safe, although not approved or endorsed by the FDA.
Further, the Federal Trade Commission and state authorities can pursue deceptive and unfair advertising. Companies that advertise must substantiate their claims with “competent and reliable scientific evidence.”
MYTH: The Farm Bill Preempts State Law
This is a myth. The Bill does not preempt state laws that are stricter than those in the Farm Bill. State laws simply cannot be broader than federal laws, but they can be stricter. Under Section 10114(b) of the Bill,, “No State or Indian Tribe shall prohibit the transportation of shipment of hemp or hemp products produced in accordance with . . . Section 10113 through the State or the territory of the Indian Tribe, as applicable.”
MYTH: Advertising CBD Everywhere is Legal
This is a myth. CBD advertising is not allowed everywhere and several platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Google prohibit such advertising. And, even though CBD is not a psychoactive drug, there still may be a great deal of uncertainty and confusing
MYTH: There is No Risk in Selling CBD
This is a myth. It is still not clear whether CBD sales are legal. Sellers should take the current laws and regulations into account and ensure that they are in compliance.