The FDA held their long awaited public hearing on Friday May 31st at their headquarters in White Oak Maryland. The event was sold out with every chair in the room taken and standing room only attendance. Over 100 people spoke their minds on what was billed as a public meeting to determine whether hemp based CBD could be allowed as a dietary supplement. However all indications were that the agenda was to determine the uses of cannabinoids from both hemp and cannabis and their pathway to commerce. The speakers varied greatly in both understanding of the plant and the purpose of the meeting. While the media billed the event as 500 experts gathered to discuss CBD in my opinion there was less than a dozen experts surrounded by hundreds of individuals all touting their personal and/or professional relationship with cannabis. There were even anti marijuana protesters there which in my opinion have no place in a “scientific” meeting but they were there. I personally witnessed a woman claim that her child “Shot himself in the face” after smoking marijuana as she blamed his death entirely on marijuana along with others who demanded that anyone who uses or distributes cannabinoids should be arrested and jailed. Reefer madness was alive and well for those who attended. There were a few bright spots during the day when well informed educated people gave mostly unbiased information to the FDA panel but for the most part everyone had an agenda of their own. The saddest part was all the CBD companies who were represented. I found it embarrassing to watch company after company talk about how great they are or how they do everything right, again, not the point of the meeting. As we saw dozens of companies claim there products were made in compliance or had all natural ingredients or cGMP manufacturing standards, who cares!!
This was not about getting your company name in the record as having been a part of the meeting. My team was possibly the most influential team at the meeting yet we sought no press on our companies but instead promoted the plant and the science of the plant to the FDA. Overall in my opinion the outcome of the meeting was already predetermined before it began. One could hear the FDA’s agenda in the questions they asked the speakers throughout the day. Again, dismal, it was a rare speaker that could actually answer a question with a fact or science based answer. Most speakers simply said they would get back with the panel and an answer. I personally knew the answer to every question that was asked, along with my teammates and a handful of actual industry professionals yet we were not asked to speak and/or participate other than to listen. As time moves on we will see this meeting was nothing more than a “Dog & Pony” show put on for the public to get a sense of safety that their interests are being looked out for. But, as I pointed out in the meeting, cigarettes are legal and there is nothing safe about. them at all. They are legal because the FDA approved them yet we argue about the oldest dietary supplement on earth having possible health risks while we sell tobacco and alcohol to any adult who wishes to use them. The legal landscape is simple, hemp is the oldest agricultural commodity in the world. It has a 10,000 year history with humanity as the safest plant on the planet, to date there is NO known incident of death by cannabis anywhere in the world for over 10,000 years. Even drinking water has a death toll associated to it where the cannabis plant remains the safest plant on the planet. Do your part, tell everyone you know Hemp is here to help us all transform our bodies and our planet to a better place, a place of stasis.