Colorado Health Officials to Tighten Reins on CBD Foods

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued a policy addressing the use of all parts of the industrial hemp plant that is allowed as a food ingredient in the Centennial State.

Manufacturers needs to comply with CDPHE and meet several requirements, such as demonstrating industrial hemp does not contain more than three-tenths of 1 percent of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive constituent found in high concentrations in marijuana.

This move reflects Colorado health officials reflects continuing efforts to regulate the variety cannabis products, ranging from smoked marijuana to hemp-based food products.

In addition, FDA doesn’t recognize cannabidiol (CBD)—the cannabinoid that can be sourced from hemp and marijuana plants—as a lawful ingredient in dietary supplements or conventional foods. The agency does not appear to be actively regulating the industry

.“We think our current regulatory structure is an appropriate overlay of it,” Jeff Lawrence,the director of the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability with CDPHE,  said in an interview, “but we may have an epiphany at some point and time. It’s just it hasn’t occurred yet. And I don’t see it because if we’re going to say it’s [industrial hemp] just like any other food commodity, federal and our state good manufacturing practices … handle that well.”

FDA adopted 21 CFR 111 in 2007 for the dietary supplement industry. These cGMPs are intended to ensure products consistently meet agreed specifications for identity, purity, strength and composition, and that the products have been manufactured, packaged, labeled and held under conditions to prevent them from being tampered with..

However, without FDA thorough inspection of manufacturing facilities producing “hemp extracts” and other products containing CBD, consumers may be ingesting products subject to very little federal oversight.

“The problem is we have no regulation,” said Martin Lee, co-founder and director of Project CBD, a nonprofit organization, in an interview. “And you need … healthy regulation. Over-regulation is a bad idea. Under-regulation doesn’t work.”

FDA’s test results have shown that what’s on the label of a CBD-containing product doesn’t always true to what it’s in the bottle. In 2015, FDA confirmed some products it tested didn’t contain any CBD.

“It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any disease,” FDA cautioned on its website, linking to the 2015 warning letters and test results, “and often they do not even contain the ingredients found on the label.”

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