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Clarity is coming for those looking to sell CBD products in the U.S.

As companies focused on cannabidiol attempt to advance their business plans in the face of widespread confusion following the passage of the Farm Bill last year and subsequent regulatory crackdown, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing a long-awaited timeline for new CBD-focused rules to be written.

  • Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the FDA, told a Congressional committee this week that his agency was “deeply focused” on the CBD and would be holding its first public hearing in April.
  • However, Dr. Gottlieb added the rule-making process will “not be straightforward” and may take up to two years to complete. He suggested regulations could potentially require products with higher CBD concentrations to be regulated as pharmaceuticals and lower concentrations to be regulated as food products, which tend to face less regulatory scrutiny, though he did not offer any estimates of where those thresholds might be set. Just one day before his Congressional testimony, Dr. Gottlieb gave a speech to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) where he acknowledged “there’s interest” in establishing CBD regulations quickly, adding the FDA was willing to consider “alternative approaches” to setting CBD guidelines.

Last week, 12 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter addressed to Dr. Gottlieb urging him to provide lawful pathways for hemp-derived CBD products as quickly as possible and to reply to their letter by Friday, Feb 22. The deadline passed with no public response from the FDA Commissioner.

- Jameson Berkow

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Manitoba seizes illegal products at Winnipeg HempFest

The Winnipeg Free Press reported that inspectors from Manitoba’s cannabis seized about $34,000 worth of illegal products from exhibitors at last weekend’s HempFest Cannabis Expo in Winnipeg. The paper quoted a spokesperson from the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba, who said that products taken away from vendors included 4,992 individual infused gummy candies, 1,371 grams of cannabis bud, 142 “gummy bars,” 108 containers of topical cream, 59 packages of cannabis seeds, and various types of potent concentrates meant for smoking or vaping.

Harvest One revenues surge on legal cannabis sales

Harvest One Cannabis Inc. said Thursday that net revenue for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, was $3.7-million, a 123-per-cent increase over first-quarter revenue of $1.7-million. Vancouver-based Harvest One attributed the increase in revenue to its initial sales under cannabis supply agreements with British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The company reported gross margins of 47 per cent, including a gross margin of 53 per cent for its United Greeneries, which it says is in line with larger Canadian licensed producers.

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