On Aug. 23, The Pew Charitable Trusts offered comments to Sens. Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden on the discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a bill that would remove federal penalties for marijuana and establish a regulatory framework for cannabis under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The proposal would allow cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical derived from cannabis plants, to be used as an ingredient in dietary supplements. Despite the current prohibition on the use of CBD as a dietary ingredient, numerous companies have nonetheless illegally marketed CBD in dietary supplements, drawing warnings from FDA. It has struggled to track all supplements because manufacturers are not required to list their products with the agency before bringing them to market. As the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act moves through the legislative process, Pew is urging lawmakers to include a product listing requirement that would allow FDA to better protect consumers from potentially unsafe dietary supplements, such as those that contain CBD.
Mandatory product listing—a requirement that dietary supplement manufacturers file a comprehensive list of the ingredients their products contain and in what amount, along with warnings, precautions, and allergen statements, among other information—is a low-cost, low-burden regulatory tool that would enable FDA to obtain a complete picture of the marketplace and to provide more robust surveillance and consumer protections. A listing requirement, which has long been sought by FDA, would strengthen the agency’s ability to more efficiently respond to emerging safety concerns and to prioritize its limited resources and expertise across the thousands of supplement products being sold.