Washington, DC–Outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb shared his thoughts on the the most efficient pathway to legalize CBD while speaking at a talk hosted by the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy and the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy at Brookings Institution.

After his talk, Gottlieb was interviewed by Bloomberg reporter Anna Edney on his time as Commissioner. The interview can be viewed here. (Gottlieb discussed a variety of issues, but for those interested specifically in CBD, that portion of the interview starts at minute 29.)

When Edney questioned Gottlieb on the timeline for CBD legalization, he responded, “I don’t think [CBD] will be done before the next guy leaves, too.”

“Because CBD didn’t previously exist in the food supply and it exists as a drug under the statute…it can’t just be put into the food supply.”

He continued, “The law only allows the FDA to contemplate putting a drug that wasn’t previously in the food supply into the food supply if it goes through a rule-making process. We’ve never done this before. It would be a highly novel rule-making process.” As such, he explained, it could take longer than the normal average of two to three years.

Next steps from the FDA, Gottlieb outlined: Put together a work group to be announced within a week and hold a public meeting to get public comment. The work group will be charged with looking to potential legislative pathways to create a framework for getting CBD into the food supply. “We think some in Congress intended for that with the Farm Bill,” Gottlieb said. He added, “I think the most efficient way to get to a pathway would be through legislation, probably that would just be legislation specific to CBD.”

“We’re getting started right now,” Gottlieb added. “We’ve been briefing staff on the Hill around this.” He anticipates having recommendations “certainly this summer.”

For more on CBD, read WholeFoods coverage from Expo West.

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