The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has kicked off its pursuit of a federal regulatory structure around the manufacture, sale and use of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, like cannabidiol ((CBD). The move couldn’t come soon enough for Ben & Jerrys, which has said it wants to start producing CBD-infused ice creams.
The FDA was given regulatory authority over CBD and other cannabis products under the 2018 Farm Bill. That legislation removed hemp (a type of cannabis plant with minimal THC content) from the list of federally prohibited controlled substances, reclassifying it as a commodity, similar to corn or soybeans. In April the FDA announced a series of steps it would take toward establishing a regulatory regime for CBD. These included formation of an internal agency working group, a request for public comments on experiences, challenges and potential product safety issues related to CBD, and a May 31 public hearing.
Over 1,300 individuals and organizations participated in the May 31 hearing, either on site or via video feeds. And in the lead up to the hearing, the FDA received comment letters from more than 1,000 individuals and organizations representing a broad spectrum of views. Comment letters included one from Ben & Jerrys, which said the letter served as an announcement of its intention to start making CBD-infused ice cream once the FDA finalizes rules for CBD-infused foods and beverages.
Acting FDA Director Norman E “Ned” Sharpless, MD, said at the start of the May 31 hearing that the agency is in no rush to approve interstate commerce involving CBD products. “There are lots of questions we will need to answer to ensure the FDA is taking an appropriate, well-informed and science-based approach to the regulation of cannabis and cannabis derivatives, including CBD,” he said.
The market for CBD products is big and getting bigger. While estimates vary, it is generally accepted that sales of CBD products totaled $600 million last year and are on track to total $16 billion by 2023.
Ben & Jerrys isn’t the only big-name company looking to tap into the market for CBD products, either. Two major pharmacy chains, Walgreens and CVS, have added CBD products (salves, lotions, creams and sprays) to store shelves in several states in recent months.
Today there are laws on the books in more than three dozen states that allow the use of CBD for medicinal and/or recreational purposes.
To grow and prosper in the CBD market, merchants selling CBD products must be able to accept modern methods of payment, like card and mobile payments. Paybotic understands this need. We’ve made it our business to deliver state-of-the-art integrated payment solutions to online and brick-and-mortar merchants selling CBD products, as well as state-sanctioned marijuana dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses.
If you’re a merchant selling CBD products, or you’re thinking about getting into this burgeoning market, you need a payment processing company that understands this market. Paybotic has a proven track record from years of helping CBD merchants offer customers safe, secure, electronic payment options. Click here to learn more about how our team of experienced professionals can help you power your CBD business with electronic payment acceptance.