CFCR pushes HHS Secretary on CBD • Barbados doubles down on cannabis • USDA picks hemp project for conservation grant • & more…

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CFCR calls for CBD to be exempted from FDA’s “drug exclusion rule.”

Anyone who has been closely following the FDA’s work on CBD, and is hoping to legally use the cannabinoid in, say, beverages, knows that there is one major sticking point: the compound is already an FDA-approved drug. 

In short, because CBD has been approved by the FDA as a drug, in the form of Epidiolex, adding it to food is “prohibited” under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. A compound also can’t be added to food if it’s been subject to clinical trials, which CBD has. 

Nonetheless, as Cannabis Wire recently reportedApril Inyard Alexandrow, the science and policy coordinator for the FDA Product Committee within the Office of the Commissioner, said, “FDA does have the authority to allow CBD in foods or dietary supplements through notice and comment rulemaking. To date, we have not issued or proposed any such rule. Among other things, we are considering whether there is adequate evidence to demonstrate that CBD could meet the legal safety standards for dietary supplements or for conventional foods.”

Against this backdrop, the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation wrote a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), calling for a meeting on the issue.

“CFCR supports an approach that is fully informed by the best science, including that from other countries, some of which have decades more experience in these areas than the US and which would provide HHS and FDA with the regulatory and research resources to accelerate a legally supported, clear regulatory pathway for cannabinoid products,” the letter reads.

Barbados officials double down on move into medical cannabis.

Barbados’ Minister of Agriculture and Food SecurityIndar Weir, recently spoke on Zoom about the country’s investment in the medical cannabis industry, alongside Noel Lynch, who serves as Barbados’ Ambassador to the US and to the Organization of American States.

“We must transition to an industry that not only gives a new deal to all Barbadians, but at the same time gives us a chance to leverage our strength internationally and to be able to participate in the global industry that is destined to become the leading industry of the world,” said Weir, referencing a shift away from the sugar industry and toward cannabis.

The country has four objectives when it comes to its cannabis future: R&D, tourism, training, and “economic enfranchisement” for Barbadians.

On this last point, the country is dealing with the same concerns around equity and opportunity that are seen in the US industry. 

Weir said that officials are “at pains to explain that at no point in time would Barbadians be left behind.” 

+ More: Catch up on Cannabis Wire’s coverage of cannabis in Barbados, and across the Caribbean

USDA picks hemp project for conservation grant. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has selected 19 projects to receive a total of $15 million as part of its Conservation Innovation Grants Program

The grants aim to help “agricultural producers mitigate the effects of climate change and increase the resilience of their operations.”

Among the projects is Hemp4Soil, because “growing hemp improves soil health and helps stabilize the climate.” A company called Heartland Corporate Holdings will “introduce hemp as a cover crop” in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.

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