Canadian Cannabis Industry Needs Better CBD Regulations

Canadian Cannabis Industry Needs Better CBD Regulations
Canadian Cannabis Industry Needs Better CBD Regulations

It’s currently a big subject in the U.S. and now it’s front-and-center in Canada as well: the cannabis industry needs better regulations for CBD commerce.

In the U.S., the FDA simply classifies CBD as “a drug”. In doing so, it is automatically excluded from most of the retail supply chain. There is no scientific basis for classifying CBD as a drug.

The FDA has announced it will come out with a new regulatory framework for CBD this fall. The U.S. cannabis industry can only hope that it crafts more enlightened and industry-friendly rules.

In Canada, the situation is more nebulous. Health Canada doesn’t officially classify CBD as a drug. But under the Cannabis Act, CBD products can only be sold “by provincially and territorially authorized retailers or by federally licensed medical cannabis sellers”, according to a new CBC article.

Pressure for more practical and industry-friendly rules for CBD products isn’t currently coming from within the cannabis industry. Rather, it’s coming externally, via the Canadian Health Food Association.

Its position is simple.
 
"At the end of the day, CBD is a natural health product. It should be regulated as a natural health product. It should be available to Canadians," said Dan Demers, vice-president of regulatory affairs at the CHFA.

The CHFA said the industry wants to be able to apply to Health Canada to sell CBD products in natural health food stores, but won't invest in research on the subject until the federal government opens up that possibility.

CBD is safe. It has no psychoactive properties. It produces no side effects.

It’s currently being used medicinally in numerous contexts to provide (purported) relief to the medical patients who are using it. It also has general health promotion properties – as do cannabinoids in general.

Cannabinoids are produced naturally within the human body. We now know they are essential to promoting and regulating human health.

Restrictions on CBD distribution in the U.S. and Canada are the result of relentless lobbying by Big Pharma. Who is the big loser if consumers obtain broad access to assorted CBD products? The drug companies.



Instead of buying their patented (and grossly over-priced) chemical concoctions – and risking the numerous side effects that accompany them – consumers will lean towards a safe, natural product like CBD first. They will only turn to Big Pharma’s dubious “cures” as a secondary option.

Big Pharma is already losing substantial market share from the broad availability and use of cannabis as a prescribed medication. More market share is at risk if CBD products become generally available.

Consumers want CBD products. The cannabis industry wants to manufacture and supply them. The broader natural health products industry is eager to carry these products.

Now what is needed is for governments to ignore the whisperings of Big Pharma and get out of the way.