FMI Files Comments Urging Consistency on Cannabis Products
The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has issued comments in response to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s request for scientific data and information about products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.
The 2018 Farm Bill permits the production and commercialization of hemp and hemp-derivatives like cannabidiol (CBD), but the legislation explicitly retains the agency’s authority over the use of such ingredients in FDA-regulated products.
“FMI respectfully urges FDA to move swiftly to provide guidance on a lawful pathway to market for hemp-derived CBD products in order to ensure such products meet applicable quality and labeling standards, as deemed appropriate by FDA,” the comments noted. “Furthermore, in addition to uniform quality and labeling standards, we also request consistency across distribution channels.”
“Consumer interest in hemp and hemp-derived products, especially those containing CBD, continues to grow rapidly, and the market is far too large to remain unregulated,” noted Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Food retailers need a clear and comprehensive regulatory framework for the sale and labeling of these products in order to ensure they are marketed in a safe, responsible fashion.”
Added Sarasin: “We urge FDA to provide guidance governing the production, sale, quality and marketing of consumer goods that contain cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds. The agency’s guidance would also be a tool to help facilitate consistent enforcement and oversight.”
FMI’s comments came in the wake of testimony by Peter Matz, the trade association’s director, food and health policy at an FDA public hearing in May, where he characterized the current situation as “mass confusion in the marketplace for the public, for suppliers and retailers, and also for state regulators and law enforcement.”