By Paul Elias, Associated Press
(AP) — CBD oil-infused gummy bears, lattes and other food, drinks and dietary supplements are selling quickly even though the U.S. government says they’re illegal and local authorities have forced some retailers to pull products. The confusion has the nation’s two largest states and others moving to legalize the cannabis compound that many see as beneficial to their health.
Lawmakers in Texas and California are often in opposition, but they’re both pushing bipartisan legislation to sidestep federal law and allow sales of the compound found in hemp and marijuana. Republicans and Democrats in Congress also are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change its stance.
The FDA has oversight of CBD because it is the active ingredient in an approved prescription drug to treat two rare seizure disorders; therefore, the agency says CBD can’t be added to food or sold as a dietary supplement because officials haven’t determined if it’s safe or effective for other conditions.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Congress last week that enforcement is being limited to sellers who make false health claims. He says the agency recently sent warning letters to three companies touting CBD as a treatment for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia and drug addiction.
“But there are products on the market right now that, given our enforcement priorities and our limited resources, we haven’t taken action against,” Gottlieb said.
A growing number of federal lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, are urging the FDA to approve CBD. They backed a measure taking hemp off the U.S. government’s list of banned substances.
AP Photo Eric Risberg