The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has filed comments in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) request for scientific data and information about products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds. The 2018 Farm Bill allows for the production and commercialization of hemp and hemp-derivatives like cannabidiol (CBD), but the new law explicitly preserves FDA’s authority over the use of such ingredients in FDA-regulated products.
In its comments, FMI discussed the significant confusion surrounding these products for the public, suppliers and retailers, and state regulators, urging FDA to provide additional clarity and establish a pathway forward for the use of hemp and hemp-derived ingredients.
FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin, stated: “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. 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. 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 advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly 5 million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI member companies operate nearly 33,000 retail food stores and 12,000 pharmacies. FMI membership includes the entire spectrum of food retail venues; single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains, pharmacies, online and mixed retail stores. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education, health and wellness and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to almost 1,000 food retail and wholesale member companies and serves 85 international retail member companies. In addition, FMI has nearly 500 associate member companies that provide products and services to the food retail industry.